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What Are Annulments And How Do They Work?

Marriage can be full of happy and blissful moments but for a few people out there it can take a sour turn of events that can lead up to two people separating. When looking at couples who decide to separate, many opt to carry on with the traditional route and file for divorce but there is a different alternative option available to those who choose they want to go a different route that applies to their special circumstances, which is annulment. As we all know divorce is the legal and valid way to end a marriage and on the other hand, an annulment serves as a means to cancel out a marriage. Annulling a marriage is granted when there is a consensus the marriage was not legally valid due to a specific reason or something that happened at the time two people entered into matrimony.

When Can An Annulment Be Granted?

When trying to understand the reasons under which you could be granted a marriage annulment, it is important to take into consideration that this can be initiated by either side and they must prove that they have the grounds to do so. A lawyer, like a divorce lawyer, knows that if the courts believe it has been proven, then the marriage will be considered null and void. Reasons for seeking an annulment include:

  • Bigamy: Under which one of the parties was already married to another person at the time of their second marriage.
  • Forced Consent: One of the spouses was either forced or threatened into the marriage and only entered it under duress. 
  • Fraud: One of the spouses agreed to the marriage based on the lies or misrepresentation of the other spouse. 
  • Marriage Prohibited by Law: The marriage between parties based on their familial relationship is considered incest. 
  • Mental Illness: Either one of the spouses was mentally ill or emotionally disturbed at the time the marriage took place. 
  • Mental Incapacity: One of the spouses was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the marriage and was unable to make an informed decision.
  • Inability to Consummate the Marriage: Either one of the people involved in the marriage was physically incapable of having sexual relations or was impotent during the course of the marriage. 
  • Underage Marriage: One of the spouses was too young at the time of nuptials to enter into marriage without parental consent or approval from the courts. 

Many states take the listed situations into account and oftentimes make their decisions based on that. 

The Annulment Process

An important piece of information to know is that there is no waiting period after you file your petition to annul a marriage. You must file a document with the district court in the county you reside in. The suit you will file is known as “A Suit to Declare Void the Marriage or Petitioner and Respondent.” After you have filed due to the courts being very busy the process might take a couple of weeks at most to get everything reviewed and if your case has been proven to have grounds to be voided the courts will go ahead and grant the nullification. 

Get Help You Trust

As our friends from Brandy Austin Law Firm can tell you, when contemplating filing an annulment with the courts it is crucial to acknowledge a lawyer can identify potential problems in your case and save you time and the emotional drainage of having to deal with the legal system. Annulments may end up being complicated especially when trying to prove your grounds as to why you are asking for one in the first place which is why it is always best to consult with an attorney, if possible. Schedule a consultation soon when you are considering an annulment.