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An annulment is used when there are religious reasons, and accompanied by a church annulment procedure. A decree annulling a marriage is grounded on the fact that a valid marriage never existed, either because the marriage was void or voidable. A void or voidable marriage may be terminated by either a dissolution or an annulment.
Annulment is an appropriate method of termination of the marriage where one of the parties lacked the capacity to contract; either because of a prior existing marriage, extreme intoxication or lack of the requisite mental capacity.
A lack of physical capacity to consummate the marriage may also be sufficient grounds for annulment, although impotency should not be confused with sterility.
If the lack of intent to contract or to fulfill the contract can be proven, the marriage can be annulled. Lack of consent to the marriage can manifest itself in a marriage ceremony held in jest.
A marriage induced by fraud and deceit can be annulled where the marriage has not been consummated. Misrepresentation of pregnancy is not a sufficient reason for annulment. Sexual intercourse operates as a complete ratification of a marriage otherwise voidable.
A marriage entered into under duress may be annulled if the duress dominated throughout the relationship of the parties to the extent that one party was prevented from acting as a free agent.