Annulment Based on Incapacity to Produce Children


Question: Mister Stegienko and Misses Stegienko were married in Michigan.  Before the marriage, Misses represented to Mister that she planned to have children with Mister.  However, after the marriage ceremony, Misses refused to have intercourse without contraception because she suffered from a pelvic condition rendering her incapable of successfully bearing children.  May Mister obtain an annulment?

Answer: YES. See Stegienko v. Stejienko, 295 Mich 530, 295 NW 252 (1940).  In this 1940 case, the Michigan Supreme Court stated that:

“From an examination of the record, we are of the opinion that the evidence and all of the circumstances in the case sufficiently prove that defendant misled plaintiff into the marriage by fraudulently pretending that she desired to have children; that because of her physical condition she did not intend to have normal marital intercourse with plaintiff and intended not to bear children to the plaintiff.  Her entering into the marriage upon such misrepresentations and with such intentions entitled plaintiff to a decree of annulment.”

Also see MCL 552.39 which states:

“A suit to annul a marriage, on the ground of the physical incapacity of 1 of the parties, shall only be maintained by the injured party, against the party whose incapacity is alleged; and shall, in all cases, be brought within 2 years from the solemnization of the marriage.”