Understanding Annulment: Nevada’s Unique Marital Laws

When it comes to marital laws, Nevada has some unique attributes, particularly regarding annulments. Unlike a divorce, an annulment essentially erases a marriage, acting as though it never occurred. However, not all marriages are eligible for an annulment, and navigating the process can be complex. Let’s dive deeper.

Void Marriages: Clear and Unambiguous

A void marriage, as the name suggests, is a marriage that cannot exist legally. These cases are typically straightforward.

Familial Ties Too Close for Comfort

One instance of a void marriage would be if you married a close blood relative. While it may seem like a plot from a popular TV series, in real life, this constitutes a void marriage. Nevada law unequivocally states that a marriage to a blood relative is null and void, guaranteeing an annulment.

The Hangover of Unresolved Divorces

Another scenario could be if you were previously married, believed your divorce was finalized, but later discovered it wasn’t. Here, any subsequent marriage would be void, warranting an annulment.

Voidable Marriages: A Tricky Terrain

Unlike void marriages which are invalid from the start, voidable marriages are valid until they’re annulled. This means that the decision to annul such a marriage is in the hands of the family court judge.

Deciphering Voidable Marriages

Determining whether a marriage can be declared null and void depends on a number of individual factors. In Nevada, annulling might take place for reasons including lack of parental consent for minors under 18, lack of understanding between parties involved, fraud or declaring it null in equity.

Misunderstanding the Matrimony

“Lack of understanding” could stem from being too intoxicated to comprehend the act of marrying or from a mental defect or disability that prevents one spouse from fully understanding the marriage.

Fraudulent Foundations

Fraudulent marriages might include situations where one party is unwilling to live with the other or marries solely for immigration purposes.

Equity and Annulment

“Grounds for declaring a contract void in equity” is more complex. As an illustration, consider a couple who marry in Las Vegas but reside elsewhere; post-wedding, if the husband refuses to move in with his new bride due to anxiety and depression issues, his wife could seek annulment on grounds that his failure fulfill his marital responsibilities makes the union invalid in equity and renders him incapable of being married. A judge could grant this annulment on equitable grounds as his husband appears incapable of fulfilling matrimonial responsibilities or remaining married.

Exceptions and Continuations

In cases where intoxication, fraud, or insanity are alleged in voidable marriages, if the couple continues to live together as husband and wife, there’s a high chance the court will not grant an annulment.

The Intricacies of a Las Vegas Wedding

Las Vegas, often dubbed the ‘Marriage Capital of the World’, sees an influx of weddings each year. However, its relaxed marriage laws can lead to potential complications. Some couples, swept up in the excitement of a Las Vegas wedding, may later find themselves seeking a Las Vegas annulment. Hence, it’s pivotal to understand Nevada’s annulment laws to avoid potential future legal issues.


Grasping the differences between void and voidable marriages can be a minefield, especially in a state like Nevada. Whether you’re planning a Las Vegas wedding or seeking a Las Vegas annulment, being aware of the legal implications can help ensure your actions align with your long-term plans.

Richard Maxwell

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