Married on a Dare: Divorce & Annulment

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Wednesday, June 22, 2016.

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there. If you bought the “Elvis Concert” wedding package on a dare, and your flight home is spent regretfully twisting your new ring, do you divorce or what?

Let’s face it, some people can never turn down a dare; especially a double-dog dare. Add to the pressure of a dare, the romantic ambiance of the Las Vegas Strip, and many people fly home newly married.

If you happen to live in Delaware, you’re in luck. Apparently, Delaware recognizes this inherent weakness in guys who just have to accept any dare, no matter how crazy.

Delaware’s legislature assisted those who do not seriously consider consequences of getting married for no particular reason but bravado. Delaware courts will allow you to annul your marriage.

Pursuant to §1506(a)(6) of the Delaware Divorce and Annulment Act:

The Court shall enter a decree of annulment of a marriage entered into under any of the following circumstances . . . one or both parties entered into the marriage as a jest or dare.

If you’re lucky enough to be flying from Las Vegas back home to Delaware, you can easily annul your marriage on grounds that you were dared into marrying.

Better still, even if you were just ‘joking’ about the whole marriage thing, ala ‘The Hangover’ you may be eligible for an annulment of your marriage back home in Dover.

What about in Florida? I’ve written about divorce and annulment in Florida before. Unlike Delaware, Florida does not have a statute authorizing annulments.

Because Florida is one of the handful of states that has no annulment statute, annulments in Florida are purely a question of common law, decided pursuant to the inherent equitable powers of the circuit court.

The historical common law “impediments” to marriage traditionally fell into two general categories: lack of consent and lack of capacity. This is substantially still the case law in Florida.

Lack of consent would include, for example, people who are related within certain degrees, and minors without parental consent. Lack of capacity situations are cases involving fraud, mental illness, sham marriages, and shotgun weddings.

You can read more of attorney Ephrat Livni’s funny post here.