Category : Montana Divorce

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Montana Divorce Law: the Declaration of Invalidity

A declaration of invalidity is used in family law to declare a marriage void, essentially declaring that the marriage lacks an element required for a legal union. Montana Divorce Law allows that a marriage may be declared invalid if specific circumstances concerning the marriage are shown to exist. These circumstances must be proven in a court of law. As a general rule, a marriage can be declared invalid if the circumstances of the consent to enter a marriage are shown to be lacking. A Montana court can also declare a marriage to be invalid if the marriage is prohibited by law.

Divorce Law as it Relates in Montana

Law 40-1-402 under the Family Law Statute in the state of Montana, clearly outlines the specifics in order to obtain a court to sign off on a declaration of invalidity in a marriage. The written decree, goes into all of the possible ways in which this invalidity must be shown and thus will be granted by the courts. There are over 16 stipulations in which a couple qualifies, however, they all have sub sections that weed out any couples who do not. Invalidity is not as common as a common grounds divorce, due to these small minute details.

Stipulations in a Nutshell

Of these multiple rules and small addendum’s, they can be comprised under a few easy to read categories, as such.
If one party to a marriage lacks consent, or lacks the ability to consent to the marriage at the time that the marriage occurred, a court may declare a marriage invalid. A person may lack the ability to consent to a marriage because of mental incapacity or illness or if the person is under the influence of an incapacitating substances at the time of the marriage. Once again, proof of this must be had, otherwise the courts will not consent to the invalidity.

A person also lacks consent if he or she was induced to enter into a marriage by force or duress or by fraud. If a person lacks the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse, and at the time that the marriage was entered into, the other party did not know of the incapacity, the marriage may also be declared invalid.

The Marriage of Minors

If a person is under 16 years of age, or if a person was 16 or 17 years of age and that person did not have the consent of the party’s parents or the approval of a district court judge the appropriate consent to bind a person to marriage is also lacking.

A marriage is prohibited under Montana law if:

  • One of the parties is presently married to someone else;
  • The parties are brother and a sister, or otherwise related by the half or the whole blood, or the parties are first cousins;
  • The parties are related as an uncle and a niece or between an aunt and a nephew; or,
  • The marriage is between persons of the same sex.

Always be sure that when you are filing for invalidity of a marriage, particularly in the state of Montana, you know all of the criteria to qualify. Not doing so can lead to unnecessary fees and filing of paperwork that isn’t needed. Be informed and be prepared.