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Supreme Court Law Library

Biblioteca de Derecho del Tribunal Supremo

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How do I get an Annulment?

You may request that a court declare your marriage void (i.e. annul the marriage) if you are a minor, your spouse is not a minor, and you did not have parental consent to marry. You may also request that a court declare your marriage void if you are too closely related to your spouse.

  1. Annulment by Statute
    A New Mexico court can declare a marriage void. Marriages may be voided if at least one spouse is still a minor and parental consent was not given for the marriage (i.e. under the “prohibited ages”), or the spouses are too closely related (i.e. within the “prohibited degrees”). See NMSA 1978, § 40-1-9 (2013).
     
    1. At Least one Spouse is Still a Minor
      If at least one spouse is a minor (less than 18 years old) and there was no parental consent for the marriage, then the court shall declare the marriage void if asked by the minor, next friend, parent or legal guardian of the minor, or the district attorney. However, the court may not do so if asked by a spouse 18 years old or older if the other spouse is a minor.

      If the spouses live together until each reaches the age that would permit them to marry (each reaches 18 years old or younger if parental consent was granted for some ages less than 18), then the marriage may not be voided.
       
    2. Spouses are Too Closely Related
      If the spouses are too closely related (within the “prohibited degrees”), then the court may declare the marriage void. Spouses within the “prohibited degrees” are blood-relatives who are too closely related. Since 1880 marriage between cousins of any degree is permitted in New Mexico, however, marriages between certain other relatives are void (e.g. grandparent to grandchild (all degrees), brother to sister (full and half), uncle to niece, and aunt to nephew). See NMSA 1978, § 40-1-7 (2013).
       
  2. Annulment by Common Law
    Courts have been asked to grant annulments for a long time, so it may be possible that a court would annul a marriage based on older common law grounds (i.e. for reasons that were used by courts to annul marriages even before there were statutes on the subject). Those historical grounds include the following: mental illness, fraud, forced consent, physical incapacity to consummate the marriage, lack of consent to under-age marriage or bigamy. Note that some these reasons may no longer be valid.
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