There are a lot of misconceptions about when and how you can get an annulment. A lot of questions come up, especially if you are ending your marriage after a short time.
There are legal annulments and religious annulments. As a family law firm, we only work on legal annulments. If you have questions about a religious annulment, you should speak with an official from your religion.
What is an annulment?
An annulment is a court order stating that for legal purposes, your marriage did not exist. You are restored to the status of a single person. This order is made either because your marriage was “void” or because it was “voidable” and you chose to have it annulled.
A void marriage is one that is incestuous or bigamous. A void marriage was never valid and will never be valid.
A voidable marriage is one where one spouse was under age at the time of the marriage, where one spouse was already married at the time of marriage but their previous spouse was believed to be dead, where one party was of unsound mind, where consent to the marriage was obtained through fraud, where consent to the marriage was obtained by force, where at least one spouse was physically incapable of entering into the marriage and still is. A voidable marriage will continue unless the parties decide to split, at least one party wants an annulment, and that party is able to meet the criteria to show it’s a voidable marriage.
How do I get an annulment?
You get an annulment by filing a nullity action. This is done through the same process as a divorce and using the same forms. You’ll file a petition and go through most of the same steps. What will be different is that you will need to present evidence to show that your marriage is void or voidable, unlike a divorce where you only need to tell the court that there are irreconcilable differences. Because a nullity action requires that you be able to provide proof of your void or voidable marriage, if you believe that an annulment is appropriate for your split, you should receive legal advice before you proceed, whether from an attorney or through the family law self-help center at your local family law courthouse.
Is an annulment right for you? Talk to us at Romanovska Law and we’ll help you decide.