Sometimes, people can rush into a marriage or get married under dubious circumstances. Sometimes, one or more of the married parties may seek to dissolve the marriage through the process of annulment. While Louisiana recognizes several reasons for granting an annulment, the grounds upon which they are granted are difficult to meet. Anyone who meets the grounds recognized by Louisiana law can petition the court for annulment.
Understand the different between an annulment and a divorce. Marriage is a contract entered into between two people. A divorce is a court recognition that the marriage contract is terminated. An annulment is a court decree declaring the marriage never took place at all. Because of this, the grounds for annulment are much harder to meet.
Qualify for a void marriage. Some annulments are automatic, meaning they are void and automatically annulled.
Under Louisiana law, any marriage that is conducted without a marriage ceremony, one contracted through procuration--where the spouse is acquired contractually, such as in a mail-order bride situation--or in violation of an impediment, such as being already married to someone else, being under age, being brother and sister, or being of the same sex. When any marriage is entered into under these circumstances, Louisiana law considers them to have never taken place at all. However, an action to recognize the marriage as null can be brought by any interested person.
Qualify for a voidable marriage. Louisiana also recognizes voidable marriages, where one party may seek to have the marriage annulled if the consent of one or both parties of the marriage was not freely given. Situations where coercion, threat of force, or any situation where the marriage is based on fraud qualify for a voidable marriage.
File a petition for annulment. If you meet any of the grounds for annulment, you can file a petition with the court. The petition of annulment must include the details of the marriage, including where it was entered into, who the married parties are, and what the grounds for annulment are. The petition can be filed in the parish in which either resident resides.