Annulment can be a confusing topic for many people, as it deals with a marriage which never existed in legal terms. Every state has its own set of requirements which determine the laws associated with annulment, and Tennessee is no different. Here are the basic reasons for which a marriage may be annulled:

Marriage of Minors

If a person who is under eighteen, a minor, wishes to get married, he or she will need their parent’s consent. If a person is under the age of sixteen, he or she needs permission from the court to get married. If marriages of underage people take place without the proper consent or permission, these marriages are voidable and will need annulment.

Multiple Marriages

If a person is already married and enters into a second marriage without obtaining a divorce from their first spouse, the second marriage is considered void. The second marriage may be annulled.

Incestuous Marriages

Marriages between blood relatives and relatives of some other certain legal relationships are considered incestuous and thus they qualify for annulment. However, there are exceptions to the rule against marriages between certain relatives. In Tennessee the marriage between cousins, including first cousins, is allowed. There are some marriages between non-blood relations that may qualify for annulment like half-brother or half-sister, adopted parent, adopted child, adopted siblings, step child and step parents.


If people enter into the marriage through fraudulent means such as lies regarding marriage conditions, faking identity etc., the party that has been defrauded may be granted an annulment. However, if the victimized party agrees to live on in the marriage even after the fraud is discovered, no legal action is required and the marriage may not be eligible for annulment. Other fraudulent circumstances that may qualify for annulment include hiding of history of ailment, drug abuse, impotence, etc.

Forcible Marriage

If a marriage takes place due to physical threat or duress, the victimized spouse may file for annulment.

Public Policies

Some kinds of marriages may be null and void as they are against the public policies of the state. These marriages may include same sex marriages, bigamous marriages, and incestuous marriages. Though some states allow same sex marriage, it is not recognized in Tennessee.

Other Circumstances

Occasionally there may be other unavoidable circumstances where annulment is the only feasible way out for the couples. The Tennessee courts may grant annulments in these other types of cases. Situations such impotence unknown to spouse, insanity beyond the scope of curability, or pregnancy during marriage unknown to the groom may qualify for legal annulment.

Annulment is not same as divorce. Divorce is the dissolution of an otherwise valid marriage because the couple who once agreed to be married no longer wishes to remain married. Annulment is rectifying the mistake of a false marriage by declaring that marriage to be void, as if it never happened. In a divorce the marital properties are divided and alimony may be awarded in appropriate cases. But in the case of an annulment the parties are restored to their premarital conditions and no alimony may be awarded. However, an annulment does not affect the paternity of any children that are born during the time of marriage.

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