Annulment Based On Fraud

You can use fraud to annul your marriage, but only if you prove it to the court's satisfaction. Here are a few things the court may require you to prove if you want to use fraud to annul your union.

You Weren't Easily Fooled

For you to succeed with the fraud claim, you must prove that you were not blind to the truth, or you weren't too easily fooled. That is, the fraudulent act or claim should be something that could have fooled a reasonable person in your position. Otherwise, the court might argue that you knew your spouse was lying but still went ahead and married them.

Consider a case where someone makes an outrageous claim that they will take you to space after marriage. The court may assume that you were blind to the truth of the impossibility of the promise if you claim to have believed it. However, if your partner lied that they were HIV negative and colluded with a doctor to deliver false results, then the court may believe you because many people would be deceived that way.

Fraud Induced the Marriage

You may also be required to prove that you lied on the fraud to consent to the marriage. This means that you wouldn't have married your partner if you had known the truth. Consider an example where your partner knows that you have always wanted to have biological kids and raise a family with them, and they conceal their sterility for you. In such a case, the court may believe your claim that you would have called off the marriage if you had known about your partner's condition.

Fraud Is Vital To Marital Relationship

In many cases, courts only consider fraudulent issues that are material or vital to a marital relationship. Examples include the ability to have children, have good mental health, and engage in sexual acts, among other things.  Therefore, the court may refuse to annul your marriage if your partner lied to you about their financial status (you believed they were rich), but annul your marriage if your partner has a mental disease but did not disclose it prior to marriage.

Assumptions Don't Count

In many cases, the assumptions you made about your partner don't count; they must have actively lied to you about something. This is especially true for things that you normally wouldn't expect people to reveal before marriage. For example, it is not fraud if you believed (without asking) that your partner didn't have a criminal history. However, it is considered fraud if you specifically asked your partner about their criminal history, and they lied about it.

For more information, consult with a family attorney near you.