Annulments Based on Fraud: What is the “Essence” of Marriage? Part Two in a Two-Part Series of Columns on Traditional and Modern Annulment

Joanna L. Grossman writes at Findlaw: “In Part One of this series, I discussed the traditional approach to defining fraud as a ground for annulment, which requires that the misrepresentation relate to the “essentials of the marriage” – some aspect of marriage that is fundamentally important to any marriage, not just to the particular spouse seeking an annulment . . . In this Part, I will argue that there has been at least a subtle shift in the doctrine in some jurisdictions away from this one-size-fits-all approach to a more individualized approach. Under this more modern approach, a court might ask whether a misrepresentation related to something that was fundamental to this marriage, rather than to marriage in general . . . “