When couples decide to end a marriage, they can either get a divorce or an annulment. If the marriage is annulled, it means it was void and never existed in the first place. However, to qualify for a successful annulment, a person should meet the state’s laws and guidelines.
The Difference Between Divorce and Annulment
A divorce is a way of ending an existing marriage, while an annulment is removing avoid union. The couple should wait for a year before filing for a divorce, while an annulment can occur any time after marriage. Some faiths allow couples from annulled marriages to remarry in church, while some faiths do not recognize marriages after divorce.
Common Grounds for Marriage Annulment
Marrying a Family Member
Marrying a close blood-related person isn’t acceptable in most states. For example, a marriage can be annulled if you marry a first cousin, mother, and child, or a union between siblings.
If one partner entered marriage without disclosing that they are impotent, a judge could annul that union. Partners expect to engage in sexual activities after marriage. So, if a spouse is unable or refuses to get intimate with the partner, the marriage can also be annulled.
Marriage between Underage Children
Marriage between underage children should occur with the consent of parents or guardians. Children under 16 years must obtain court’s approval before marriage. If both partners didn’t observe the stated guidelines, a judge could annul the union.
Marriages Made Under False Pretense
If a partner lied, such as faking a pregnancy to lure another person into marriage, the court can annul the union. Similarly, if a partner was pregnant with another person’s child when you get married, that also can lead to annulment.
When Either Spouse was Already Married
Bigamy forms a strong ground for annulment. If a spouse enters a marriage with someone who’s already married and has not dissolved the previous marriage, that union is void.
Concealment of Serious Matters
A judge could annul the marriage if a partner concealed important matters that would have made the other party not enter into marriage. For instance, a partner can lie about past involvement in crimes, sexually transmitted illness, or has spent time in jail.
You are the Innocent Spouse
For an annulment to go through, you must be the innocent partner. In most cases, states prohibit the guilty partner from being a plaintiff. For instance, if you marry a person with a fake identity, they cannot ask for an annulment.
However, if the innocent partner fails to file for an annulment after finding out the truth, it is assumed that they are okay with the marriage.
One Spouse Didn’t Consent To the Marriage.
Both partners should have consent while entering a marriage. If a spouse threatened, blackmailed, or forced the other party into marriage, that union is voidable and can be annulled by the court.
A marriage can be annulled if the judge finds out that a person got married when mentally sick. People with mental illness aren’t considered fit for legal consent. Other marriages are annulled if one partner suffers from periodic insanity or drug and substance addiction. An intoxicated person is considered unfit to enter a marriage agreement.
Every state has different laws that govern annulment cases. Even if you have a genuine case, it is mandatory to file the case within specified days after the marriage. The period can vary between 30-90 or more, according to different states. These rules may be challenging, and it’s therefore important to engage a lawyer. These professionals will help you gather enough evidence and inform you if your marriage is eligible for annulment.