Once a decision has been made to divorce, a couple usually does not want to make the process any longer than necessary. If this decision has been made, and one spouse changes their mind, things can become more difficult. It’s possible for one spouse to go missing while the other spouse still wants the divorce.
In many cases, when a couple files for divorce, it is because both of them have decided the marriage is over. It’s also possible for one spouse to simply leave and not provide any contact information. When this happens, it could result in a situation where one spouse does not know how to locate the other. During most divorce situations, the papers for divorce must be served prior to the start of any legal proceedings. A person with a missing spouse who still desires to end the marriage does have certain options.
When some people wish they were never married; they can annul it. When a spouse chooses to annul the marriage, they engage in the legal process of eliminating their union by legally declaring it to be null and void. It’s important to understand that a divorce legally terminates a marriage. When a person is granted an annulment, the court has made a formal declaration that the marriage never existed.
Order of Notice by Publication
Once traditional annulment proceedings are initiated, a spouse’s attorney must have papers served on the other spouse. This is notification of the annulment action. These papers are served at a spouse’s last known residence. It is something that can be served on a spouse at other locations, such as where they work. If every possible avenue has been explored to find a person, and it has bee unsuccessful, their spouse can request an Order of Notice by Publication. This makes it possible for a person to give public notice of their desire to annul a marriage in a local newspaper. This publication needs to be near a spouse’s last known address. It’s important to know that a court must approve placing a notice to the missing marriage partner in a local publication. The paperwork to end the marriage must be filed prior to placing the advertisement. Should there be no response to the advertisement; an attorney can begin the proceedings by default.
Should a person be successful in getting their marriage declared invalid; they will not have to be concerned with property division. A judge will usually simply assign all property and debts back to the rightful owners of them prior to the marriage. Should any debt be obtained during the marriage, it is usually split evenly. An annulment is also able to release a spouse from the terms of any prenuptial agreement. These agreements only apply to couples who divorce or are legally separating.
The annulment of a marriage is not only for unions that last for a short period of time. In the United States, each state has the authority to create its own laws concerning marriage, divorce as well as annulment. It is important for a couple to end their marriage in a state where at least one spouse meets the residency requirements. In order for a marriage to be annulled, it must meet the criteria for one of two different legal categories. It must be either a void marriage or a voidable marriage.
This can happen if one spouse lacked the ability to give consent to marry because of being influenced by alcohol or drugs. This also applies when one person has a mental impairment. It could also be voidable if once spouse was coerced to marry by threat of force. A spouse makes false statements, and the other spouse marries because of those statements. It could be voidable because of an undisclosed physical impairment such as sexual impotence and more.
This is when a marriage has an impediment at the time of the ceremony taking place. This could be a prohibited incestuous relationship. A jurisdiction where the marriage took place may forbid brothers and sisters as well as first cousins from being married. This is also the case if one spouse is married to another person at the time of the marriage taking place and more.