Marriage Annulment from Alcoholic Husband

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Can a marriage annulment be obtained on the grounds that one spouse did not disclose until after the wedding that they were an alcoholic? That is the question of a reader who writes “I was married on December 1st 2004, and on the night of December 2nd, 2004, he informed me that he is an alcoholic. I did not know this when I married him, or I would never have married him. He left shortly after that and went back to Florida. I was wondering if this marriage can be annulled on the basis of fraud or something similar.”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

The short answer to this question is “probably not.” It is extremely difficult to obtain a legal annulment, and it can be had on only a few very narrow and strict grounds. While fraud is considered one of those grounds in many states, failure to disclose that one is an alcoholic would generally not considered fraud. Indeed, most courts would wonder how long the couple had known each other prior to the marriage for the other party to not be aware of the alcoholism, or, if they had known each other a long time, and the alcoholic spouse was sober, they would wonder what the problem was.

That said, however, this reader should have no trouble at all obtaining a simple divorce.

Recommended reading:

Divorce Yourself: The National Divorce Kit (Divorce Yourself (W/CD))

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Author: Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.

Anne P. Mitchell, Esq. is a noted family law expert, Internet law expert, and Professor of Law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose. She is the author of "Surviving Divorce: the Single Father's Guide" and "The Email Deliverability Handbook"

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