Can I Get an Annulment?

The beginning of a marriage is an exciting and joyous time.  There are very few times so steeped in happiness than when two people decide to build their lives together.  Unfortunately, not all relationships last forever.  We have all read that the divorce rate in the United States is approaching half of all marriages.  While most people are very acquainted with divorce, not all are as familiar with annulment.  Choosing to an end a marriage is a difficult decision, and many may be left wondering whether they can get an annulment.

With a divorce, your marriage will come to an end.  By contrast, an annulment will make it such that your marriage legally never happened.  Moreover, although divorce is available to basically any married couple, annulment is not.  To obtain an annulment, you will have to prove you qualify under one of the following very specific situations:

  1. You had the lack of capacity to consent to marriage at the time you were married, such as mental incapacity or intoxication. If the other spouse knew of the incapacity, annulment will not be an option;
  2. You only consented to the marriage because of force or fraud, and you did not voluntarily live with the other person after the fraud or force was known;
  3. Your spouse has the lack of physical capacity to consummate the marriage and you did not know of the incapacity prior to getting married; or
  4. One party could not legally consent to the marriage due to being underage.

Note that the reasons for annulment do not include those often popularized in popular culture, such as finding out your spouse has been cheating since before the marriage started, or changing your mind within twenty-four hours of getting married.  If you are considering an annulment, you should also keep in mind that in some situations, the time to seek an annulment is limited, so if you want to seek an annulment, you need to consult a family attorney as soon as possible.

If you are considering an annulment, you should understand that the end result is very similar to a divorce.  Moreover, the process can end up being just as long and expensive as getting a divorce.  You should also keep in mind that even if an annulment is granted, a court can still make particular orders as they do in a divorce, such as child custody or dividing property.

We have extensive experience helping our clients to select the right type of proceeding to fit their goals.  Call us today at 651-413-9568 and schedule a consultation