The Basics of Annulment in Oklahoma

Learn which marriages can be annulled in Oklahoma, the effect of annulment on children and property, and how to get an annulment.

By , Attorney · Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School
Updated by E.A. Gjelten , Legal Editor
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Like a traditional divorce, an annulment ends a marriage. However, an annulment is a legal proceeding that goes further by declaring a marriage invalid or void through a court order. It's as if the marriage never happened.

What are the Grounds for an Annulment?

Oklahoma recognizes several legally accepted reasons ("grounds") for annulment that fit into one of two categories: void and voidable marriages. To obtain an annulment, one of the following grounds must be proven.

Grounds for Void Marriages

Void marriages are prohibited by law in Oklahoma. Because these marriages are considered illegal from the start, nothing the spouses do (like continuing to live together after one of them learns the truth) can make the marriage valid.

In Oklahoma, marriages are void if:

  • the spouses are close relatives, or
  • one of the spouses was still married to someone else at the time of the marriage (bigamy or polygamy).

(Okla. Stat. tit. 43, §§ 2, 125 (2024).)

Grounds for Voidable Marriages

Under Oklahoma law, other marriages may be declared void and annulled for certain reasons, including when one of the spouses:

  • was underage and hadn't met one of the conditions in Oklahoma law for allowing marriages under age 18 or 16
  • wasn't able to consent to the marriage legally due to mental incapacity or incompetence, or
  • hadn't been divorced for six months before getting married again.

(Okla. Stat. titl. 43, §§ 3, 126, 128 (2024).)

With these voidable marriages, courts won't grant an annulment if the spouses continued living together after the reason no longer existed—for instance, after an underage spouse turned 18 or after the end of the post-divorce six-month period.

Oklahoma courts have also held that judges may annul marriages for "equitable" reasons. The most common equitable ground for annulment is fraud, such as falsely claiming to be pregnant with the other person's child, or claiming to be in love but wanting to marry only to get a green card. Here again, judges generally won't grant an annulment if a spouse who's been misled continues living with the other spouse after learning the truth.. (Kildoo v. Kildoo, 767 P.2d 884 (Okla. 1989).)

Effects of an Annulment on Children and Property

In Oklahoma, annulment doesn't affect the legitimacy of children born during the marriage. In the annulment, the judge will issue rulings on child support and custody under the same rules as if the parents were getting a divorce. (Stone v. Stone, 145 P.2d 212 (Okla. 1944).)

Also, when the spouses acquired property or took on debts during the marriage, the judge may divide that property and those debts during the annulment proceeding, using the same "equitable division" principles as in an Oklahoma divorce. (Traitz v. Traitz, 524 P.3d 497 (Okla. Ct. App. 2022).)

How Do I Get an Annulment?

The procedure for seeking an annulment is similar to filing for a divorce in Oklahoma. You'll need to file a petition with the court and serve it on the other spouse. Then, you'll need to present evidence to prove the grounds for annulment in a hearing before a judge.

Parents may sometimes file the annulment case for their child who was underage or lacked mental capacity at the time of the marriage.

If you're seeking an annulment, you should strongly consider speaking with a family law attorney who can explain how the law applies to your situation and can help you gather and present the evidence needed to convince a judge that your marriage should be annulled.

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