Under certain circumstances, the non-filing party may assert defenses that are not unique to annulment actions. As with any lawsuit, a defendant may raise the defenses of lack of jurisdiction, improper venue, inappropriate remedy, or lack of notice.
In order to obtain divorce, domicile and residence are important factors. One party must be resident and domiciled in the state where the divorce is sought. In order for the court to obtain jurisdiction, the requirements are "actual residence" and legal domicile. Jurisdiction is determined at the time the divorce petition is filed.
Abandonment, also known as "desertion," is a ground for fault-based divorce in a majority of states. Abandonment is defined as one spouse's leaving the marital home without the other spouse's consent and without any justifiable reason. Some courts have drawn a slight distinction between abandonment and desertion by stating that desertion involves an intention to sever the relationship, but abandonment does not have that requirement. Some state statutes require that there must be a continuous abandonment for a certain period of time before the filing of a divorce petition.
The parties must establish proper jurisdiction and venue in order to initiate an annulment action. Usually, to obtain the jurisdiction and proper venue, the courts of the state where the parties were married have jurisdiction in an annulment action. In most states, if one of the parties wants to bring an action in a state court, that party must show that one of the parties has been residing in that particular state for the required period. Alternatively, a state has jurisdiction if either party has met that state's residency requirement. Venue is established if the party seeking the annulment of the marriage has met the domicile requirements within the court's jurisdiction.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements refer to agreements made between the spouses before and after marriage, respectively. Among other things, these contracts enable the spouses to define their respective property rights, which can be very helpful in cases of divorce or legal separation.