Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney Getting Annulment
Actress Renee Zellweger and country singer Kenny Chesney are getting their four-month-old marriage annuled.
Bridget Jones is untying the knot. Renee Zellweger, who played the lovelorn Brit in “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” and country music star Kenny Chesney will have their four-month-old marriage annulled, Chesney’s publicist, Holly Gleason, and Zellweger’s Los Angeles-based publicist Nanci Ryder, confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday.
People magazine first reported the breakup, which brings to an end a whirlwind romance that began shortly before a surprise wedding in May. The 36-year-old actress and Chesney, 37, wed in a small ceremony on the Caribbean island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was the first marriage for both.
Given that one presumes they consumated the marriage and that neither was already married to someone else, one wonders what the grounds for annulment would be.
According to FindLaw:
Annulment is distinct from divorce in that a divorce terminates a previously valid marriage. Remember that the key to an annulment is that the marriage was never a valid one in the eyes of the law. As in divorce, however, in annulment cases the court may award custody of children of the marriage and require payment of child support and support of a party.
Legal Grounds for Annulment
Courts will order that a marriage be annulled if one of the following situations can be established:
* Mental Illness, Insanity or Retardation: If a person is married while mentally ill, insane or so mentally retarded that he or she could not knowingly and willingly consent to marriage, then the marriage may be annulled. Here, annulment would be granted on the theory that marriage is a consensual relationship, and most mentally ill, insane, or retarded people are considered incapable of giving legal consent.
* Temporary Insanity: If temporary or periodic insanity is claimed, the affected person’s condition at the time of marriage governs whether or not his or her possessed the legal capacity to marry. A marriage will not be annulled if it was entered into during a “lucid” interval between episodes of temporary insanity.
* Fraud: If one of the parties did not tell the truth, or misrepresented information in order to induce the other party to enter into the marriage, then the marriage may be annulled because of fraud.
* Lack of Consent or Duress: If a person is compelled to marry another under a threat of violence that would overcome the mind and will of a person of ordinary mental strength, the marriage may be annulled on the theory that marriage is a consensual relationship, and that compulsion under threat is inconsistent with consent. Actual threats of serious violence are required.
* Intoxication: If either spouse was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage, or if it can be shown that there was such intoxication at the marriage ceremony that either spouse was incapable of knowing the nature of the marriage contract and its consequences, annulment will be granted.
* Inability to consummate the marriage (or “impotency”): To obtain an annulment for impotency, the person seeking annulment must prove that the other spouse was permanently and incurably impotent when the marriage was entered into, and that the person seeking annulment did not discover the fact until after the marriage.
* Lack of parental consent for an underage marriage: Most states have age requirements for marriage. Generally, persons under the age of 18 must have parental consent to marry. If an underage person managed to obtain a marriage license without court or parental approval, the marriage would be subject to annulment.
* One of the people is already married (bigamy): A marriage is subject to annulment when it is entered into before the dissolution of an earlier marriage of one of the parties becomes final.
* Incestuous marriage: All states prohibit marriages between parents and children — including grandparents and grandchildren of every degree; between brothers and sisters of the half as well as the whole blood; and between uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews, and first cousins.
The mind actually boggles at the possibilities here.