There are two categories of marriages that provide grounds for annulment in Pennsylvania. First, there are marriages that are considered void by their existence. Second, there are marriages that are voidable upon action of either party. The difference with voidable marriages is they are considered valid until either party takes action.
Void marriages, when brought to light, are voided retroactively and rendered to have never existed. These types of void marriages are marriages where one of the parties is already married, marriages to close family members, and if a party does not have the power to consent due to mental incapacity, etc. Basically, void marriages are marriages that are illegal in nature and therefore never actually considered a lawful union.
Voidable marriages end upon a party providing evidence of a voidable ground. These, therefore, are not voided retroactively. These types of marriages include: marriages where one or more of the parties were intoxicated at the time of the marriage and file for annulment within 60 days of the time of the marriage, if either party cannot consummate the marriage because they are impotent and this impotence cannot be cured, if one party is coerced, defrauded or forced into marriage, and if either or both of the parties are under the age of 16 and do not have parental consent. There are time restrictions with many annulment proceedings, so it is very important to consult a Pennsylvania Family Lawyer immediately when hesitation or an issue arises. Additionally, if a third party is aware of any of the voidable grounds, they may be able to take action on behalf of the party who has grounds for annulment.