Like a divorce, an annulment is a court procedure that ends a marriage. But an annulment treats the marriage as though it never happened, as opposed to dissolving it.

Minnesota law provides that a marriage may be annulled if one party was not able to give their voluntary consent to the marriage at the time of the marriage ceremony because:

  • One party has a mental illness, insanity, mental incapacity and the other party did not know about the mental illness, insanity or mental incapacity at the time of the marriage ceremony; or
  • One party was under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other “incapacitating” substance at the time of the marriage ceremony; or
  • Consent was obtained by force or fraud.

A marriage may also be annullted if one party is not able to “consummate” the marriage with sexual intercourse and the other party did not know this at the time of the marriage ceremony or if one of the parties was under the legal age for marriage. The legal age for marriage in Minnesota is age 18, or age 16 or 17 only with the consent of the parents, a guardian, or the court and approval of the application for a marriage license by a Juvenile Court Judge.

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Photo of Cynthia Brown Cynthia Brown

Cynthia Brown is a founding shareholder with the Brown Law Offices, P.A., a northwest Twin Cities divorce and family law firm. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia’s practice focuses almost exclusively on divorce and family law issues. She publishes a monthly family law column for the Minnesota Lawyer newspaper, and has contributed to Divorce Magazine and The Family Law Forum. Cynthia also serves as a panel attorney for the Anoka County Family Law Clinic.