When two people are married, they have high hopes the union will last forever. Unfortunately, many people split up and petition the court to end the marriage. While most marriages end in divorce, some may qualify for an annulment. To obtain an annulment, there must be certain criteria that must be met. The following is an overview of how the annulment process works and how to know if you qualify. If you are considering ending your marriage and want to know if you qualify for an annulment, it may benefit you to speak with a family law attorney for advice.
How Is An Annulment Different From A Divorce?
A divorce is the dissolution of a legal marriage between two people. When the divorce is final, it is reflected in court records. An annulment is a bit different because it is essentially voiding a marriage that was not valid due to extenuating circumstances. Once an annulment is granted, it disappears from court records as it had never taken place.
What Qualifies For An Annulment?
There are only a few circumstances that qualifies for an annulment in the United States. An annulment may be granted if the following has taken place:
If one party hides information that the other party should have known before they were married, an annulment may be granted. Some examples of this type of fraud include concealing criminal history, sexually transmitted diseases or impotence.
When one party is of diminished mental capacity and not of sound mind, an annulment may be possible.
An annulment may be possible if you married someone related to you.
If one spouse is still legally married to someone else at the time the current marriage took place, an annulment will most likely be granted. This is because bigamy is not legal in the United States, making the second marriage invalid.
Can You Get An Annulment If He Divorces?
An annulment is based on the events that took place at the time your marriage occurred. Since he was not divorced at the time of your marriage, it is considered invalid so you may be able to obtain an annulment through the court.
Where Can You File For An Annulment?
If you qualify for an annulment, the paperwork should be filed in the county in which you live. It is important to note that there are residency requirements that state how long you must live in your county before you can file for an annulment. Check with your local courthouse for residency requirement information.
Contact a family law attorney for advice if you are considering an annulment. Since these cases can be complex and difficult to navigate, you may be more successful with an attorney on your side. During an initial meeting, an attorney will examine the facts surrounding your case and let you know if you qualify for an annulment or if a divorce proceeding is necessary.