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Legal Statutes: Delaware

UPDATED April 12, 2017

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Chapter 15. DIVORCE AND ANNULMENT

back to top§ 1506. Annulment

(a) The Court shall enter a decree of annulment of a marriage entered into under any of the following circumstances:

(1) A party lacked capacity to consent to the marriage at the time the marriage was solemnized, either because of mental incapacity or infirmity, or because of the influence of alcohol, drugs or other incapacitating substances;

(2) A party lacked the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse and the other party did not, at the time the marriage was solemnized, know of the incapacity;

(3) A party was less than legal age and did not have the consent of his or her parents or guardian or judicial approval as provided by law;

(4) One party entered into the marriage in reliance upon a fraudulent act or representation of the other party, which fraudulent act or representation goes to the essence of the marriage;

(5) One or both parties entered into the marriage under duress exercised by the other party, or a third party, whether or not such other party knew of such exercise of duress;

(6) One or both parties entered into the marriage as a jest or dare; or

(7) The marriage is prohibited and void or voidable as provided in § 101 of this title.

(b) A decree of annulment may be sought by any of the following persons, and a petition therefor must be filed within the times specified below, but in no event may a decree of annulment be sought after the death of either party to the marriage, except as provided in this section:

(1) For the reasons set forth in either paragraph (a)(1), (4), (5) or (6) of this section, by either party to the marriage who was aggrieved by the condition or conditions, or by the legal representative of the party who lacked capacity to consent, no later than 90 days after petitioner obtained knowledge of the described condition.

(2) For the reason set forth in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, by either party no later than 1 year after petitioner obtained knowledge of the described condition.

(3) For the reason set forth in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, by the underaged party, his or her parent or guardian, no later than 1 year after the date the marriage was entered into.

(4) A decree of annulment for the reason set forth in paragraph (a)(7) of this section may be sought by either party, by the legal spouse in case of bigamous, polygamous or incestuous marriages, by the appropriate state official, or by a child of either party at any time prior to the death of either party or prior to the final settlement of the estate of either party and the discharge of the personal representative, executor or administrator of the estate, or prior to 6 months after an order of distribution is made under Chapter 23 of Title 12.

(c) Children born of an annulled marriage are legitimate. Marriages annulled under this section shall be so declared as of the date of the marriage.

(d) The provisions of this chapter relating to the property rights of spouses are applicable to annulment.

(e) “Separation” as defined in § 1503(7) of this title is inapplicable to annulment proceedings; and a petition may be filed whenever a circumstance exists as defined by, and within the time limit specified in, this section.
24 Laws 1907, ch. 213, § 1; 25 Laws 1909, ch. 221, § 1; 59 Laws 1974, ch. 350, § 1; 61 Laws 1978, ch. 365, § 6; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995.