Couples tend to put their best foot forward in the beginning of their relationship, but the little nuances tend to come out before too long. You don’t want him to know you have terrible morning hair, and he doesn’t want you to know his great aunt always drinks too much during family gatherings. You want the other person to see the best in you, and he wants the same thing. Perhaps you stretched the truth a bit about how much you love professional baseball, and maybe he told you he loves your mother even when he doesn’t always feel that way about her.
These are little things, and they’re not huge deal breakers when it comes to marriage. You can get over them, and neither of you care all that much. You are on the same page where it counts. You practice the same religion, you have the same values, you’re on the same page financially, and you both want a family one day. You get married, you live your life, and you decide it’s time to have kids. Your husband breaks the news to you that he’s changed his mind about having children. What do you do?
Legally, there is nothing you can do. You can’t sue him or make him have kids with you. His body is his body, and he’s not going to use it to have kids he no longer wants. If you got married wanting children, and he’s changed his mind since exchanging vows, you have no legal recourse. You can stay in the marriage and hope he changes his mind. You can go to counseling, or you can see for yourself if you really want kids of your own. You can get a divorce if it’s that much of a deal-breaker for you. Legally, however, you cannot do anything to change his mind when he makes a decision like this one.
The story changes a bit if your partner lied to you about his ability to have kids. Changing his mind is one thing following your wedding, but lying to you about his ability to have kids or his desire to have kids is another. The law varies by state, but many states allow you to annual your marriage for various reasons. Annulment is a way of ending your marriage but not turning you into a divorcee. In layman’s terms, annulment is simply erasing your marriage. You were never married.
Misrepresentation and fraud are both grounds for annulment. Additionally, significant misunderstanding is another reason many couples choose to get divorced. If you are looking to annul your marriage after finding out your husband doesn’t want kids, ask yourself a few questions.
– Did he commit fraud? Did your husband tell you he wanted to have kids with you before you were married, but he’s either unable to have kids or underwent a vasectomy without your knowledge?
– Did he misrepresent himself? Did he tell you he wanted kids, but didn’t mention he’s not really a big fan of kids after you were already married to him?
– Is this a big misunderstanding? Did you just assume he wanted kids because he never said otherwise and/or he assumed you didn’t because you never said otherwise? If so, you both went into this marriage with a significant misunderstanding at heart.
If any of these things occur, you have a reason to file for annulment. If you’re not worried about being divorced or paying for it, you can go that route. Annulment is cheaper, and it’s protective of each person’s rights before marriage. For instance, in a divorce, your spouse might be entitled to some of your belongings. In an annulment, there are no marital assets because the marriage is considered void. It never occurred, and no assets are taken into account. What you came into the marriage with is what you leave with.
If your spouse misrepresented himself, committed fraud, or you grossly misunderstood his intentions in marriage, annulment might be the only recourse you have in the marriage. It’s a big decision. An attorney is able to help you make sense of what’s happening, recommend legal action and recourse, and help you file any necessary paperwork.