The End of Annulment

  • United States

The End of Annulment

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The central claim of this essay is that understanding annulment law can help us understand the function marriage currently serves in our culture. In a society with no-fault divorce, we might see the end of annulment: legislatures might abolish it, or judges might narrow its availability to make it functionally nonexistent. But that has not happened; people still seek annulments, just for different reasons than they used to. So if annulment has not come to an end, what is its “end” in that word’s other sense - what is its purpose or aim? Understanding why annulment remains important, legally and culturally - and the goals of people who seek it - can help us to understand how marriage forges and alters people’s identities.


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  • Abrams, Kerry. The End of Annulment, Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, vol.16 (2013).