There are many different ways in which you can choose to legally end your marriage, though none are quite as unique as an annulment. Annulments essentially make it like your marriage never actually happened in the first place, metaphorically rolling back the clock in terms of legal status. While this might seem like an ideal solution for some people due to reduced social stigma and a more straightforward separation process, they’re only granted on extremely rare circumstances.
Do You Qualify?
In order to qualify for an annulment, you must meet one of a very rare and specific set of circumstances. These circumstances all have one thing in common: the marriage was unlawful in the first place for one reason or another, and therefore should never have been legally allowed to begin with. This includes the following situations:
- Lack of consent from a parent or guardian for spouses who get married under the age of 18
- Lack of understanding or a legitimate plea of insanity by you or your spouse
- Marrying under false pretenses due to fraud, lies, or other misrepresentations of self
- Marrying by force, while under duress, coercion, or under threat of harm
- Illegality due to spouses being too closely-related
- One or both spouses were currently married to someone else at the time of the marriage
The third point on this list is arguably the most contentious one—many people who claim their spouse lied to them about something like financial standing, professional connections, or other potentially beneficial qualities may try to use this as grounds to seen an annulment. For example, an acceptable situation would be when a man and woman decide to marry in order to keep up appearances and appease family members after the woman becomes pregnant and tells the man the child is his. However, when it’s later revealed the child was actually fathered by another man and the wife knew this but withheld it, the husband may be able to file for an annulment due to deliberate misrepresentation.
It’s worth noting that legal annulments are different from religious annulments. While some people may seek an annulment from their church or religious institution, these provisions have nothing to do with the state and have no impact on your legal marital status. Likewise, just because you may qualify for a religious annulment doesn’t mean you’ll qualify for one by the guidelines set out by the state.Find out if you qualify for an annulment and get help with the petitioning process by consulting with a Henderson divorce attorney today. Contact McDonald Law Offices, PLLC at (702) 850-8004 now!