Celebrity Kim Kardashian and Minnesotan NBA player Kris Humphries were married in a televised event with the kind of glitz and glamour that drew the attention of countless people across the United States. Seventy-two days later, the marriage was over, and the couple is now in the middle of a highly-publicized divorce.
Kardashian filed a petition for divorce more than six months ago, which makes her and Humphries now eligible for divorce. She would like to finalize the divorce promptly, but Humphries is seeking an annulment. He alleges that the marriage was based on fraud. He has not been able to present evidence for that allegation, however. A trial that proves the fraud allegations could be costly for both sides.
Annulments in Minnesota
Annulments end marriages in a legal process just like a divorce. The difference between an annulment and a divorce is that annulled marriages are treated as if they never existed. Minnesota laws allow for a marriage to be annulled under one of three conditions.
The first condition is that one of the parties was unable to voluntarily give consent when the marriage ceremony was held because of:
- A mental incapacity, illness or insanity unknown to the other party
- Incapacitation due to drugs or alcohol
- Fraud or force in obtaining consent
The second condition is that one of the married parties was unable to perform sexual intercourse to consummate the marriage. That fact must have been unknown to the other party when the marriage ceremony was performed.
The final condition is that one of the married parties was under the legal age required for marriage. In Minnesota, the legal age for marriage is 18, but 16- or 17-year-olds can get married with parental consent.
The relevant provision for Humphries is, of course, the first one. Depending on his persistence, determination and financial resources, obtaining an annulment might be possible. Many other Minnesotans have succeeded in doing so, though in much lower-profile situations.
Source: Associated Press, "Kim Kardashian wants divorce to move along; lawyer warns ex's claims of fraud could get pricey," Anthony McCartney, May 4, 2012.