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Family Law

Exam 2
30 minutes

Fact Pattern

Husband and Wife first met at a support group for people battling drug addiction. Both had a history of heroin addiction. When they began dating, however, both had been free of drug use for about six months. After four months of dating, Husband moved into Wife’s apartment.

Shortly after this, Husband grew concerned that Wife might be relapsing back into drug use. His fears were confirmed a few weeks later, when he came home from work to discover Wife unconscious and nonresponsive. He rushed her to the hospital, where doctors managed to revive her. The doctors confirmed that Wife’s symptoms were consistent with a heroin overdose.

Once Wife returned home, Husband told her that he could not remain in a relationship with her if she kept using drugs. Wife was contrite, begging Husband to stay with her and swearing that she would never use heroin again.

In the midst of apologizing, Wife suggested that they marry as soon as possible. Husband agreed, so the two immediately went to the county clerk’s office to obtain a marriage license. An employee there told them that they could pick up their license in 72 hours. At that time, a qualified officiant could marry them.

A friend of Husband and Wife agreed to perform their ceremony, and did so promptly three days after the couple applied for the marriage license. At the time, Husband and Wife believed that the friend was a qualified officiant, due to her status as a minister. They only later learned that the friend belonged to a witch’s coven, in which she had appointed herself an ordained minister. Under relevant state law, this could not qualify the friend as an officiant to perform weddings.

Within a day of the wedding, the newlyweds nearly split up. Shortly after the wedding ended, Husband discovered that Wife had used heroin that morning. Wife insisted that she had merely stumbled upon the last bit of heroin left in the apartment, and had thus succumbed to temptation. She assured Husband that she had deleted the phone numbers of all her prior drug suppliers, to make a clean break. Husband again forgave her, but threatened to leave her should she use drugs just one more time.

Three years after the wedding, Husband and Wife started arguing constantly. Things got so tense that the two decided to separate. Husband initially planned to file for divorce, but Wife believed that seeking an annulment would be preferable. To that end, Wife believes she has two different justifications for an annulment. First, the officiant at the wedding ceremony was not properly qualified. Second, Wife used heroin the morning of the wedding.


Questions

  1. Is Wife likely entitled to an annulment, on the grounds that the friend who performed the marriage ceremony was not a qualified officiant? Explain.
  2. Is Wife likely entitled to an annulment, based on her drug use the morning of the wedding? Explain.

Question 1

Is Wife likely entitled to an annulment, on the grounds that the friend who performed the marriage ceremony was not a qualified officiant? Explain.

Question 2

Is Wife likely entitled to an annulment, based on her drug use the morning of the wedding? Explain.

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