When a marriage doesn’t work out, a divorce is the most common choice. However, there are certain instances in which an annulment may be possible. An annulment is one way to dissolve a marriage and have it disappear from all records. Unlike a divorce, once an annulment is granted it is like the marriage never existed. Just like a divorce, there is a legal process that must be taken before an annulment can be granted. If you are considering an annulment, it may be helpful for you to speak with a family law attorney for advice.
Who Qualifies For An Annulment?
Since annulments erase the entire marriage from court records, they are only granted for very specific reasons. The following things may qualify for an annulment in most states:
Where To File For An Annulment
Annulments are filed in the county in which you live in most cases. Most states have certain requirements stating how long you must live in a county before an annulment can be filed. If you try to file your civil annulment before you have lived in your county the specific amount of time, it may cause your case to be thrown out of court. This means you would need to refile when you met the residency requirements. However, couples who were married in Nevada may have up to 6 weeks to file for an annulment. This is designed to make it easier for couples who got married on the spur of the moment in Las Vegas or under the influence of alcohol to annul their marriage.
Do You Have To Notify Your Spouse?
Each state has specific requirements when it comes to notifying a spouse of an annulment action. It is important to check with your local courthouse to be sure you notify your spouse properly. Failure to give proper notice may cause the court to throw out your case. If you cannot locate your spouse, you may be able to place an ad in the classified of your local newspaper for notification.
How Long Do I Have To File An Annulment?
In most instances, annulments are filed within a relatively short period of time after the marriage. However, it is important to check with your local courthouse in the county in which you live to learn the time frame for annulments in your state.
When Do I Need A Lawyer?
It may be helpful to have a lawyer when filing your annulment, especially if you are unsure if your marriage qualifies or if the marriage has lasted longer than a few months.
If you are considering an annulment, contact a lawyer with experience in family law for help. During an initial consultation, your lawyer will go over your case and let you know the best way to dissolve your marriage. Hiring a lawyer can give you peace of mind, knowing your marriage will be ended quickly and efficiently.