What is an annulment?
An annulment is a legal order declaring that a marriage never existed. Annulments are rare and only granted in unusual circumstances.
On what grounds can I receive an annulment?
You may receive an annulment if:
- You and your spouse are related as follows: parent/child, stepchild; grandparent/grandchild; aunt/nephew; uncle/niece.
- You did not have the mental capacity to enter into a contract.
- You were under the age of 16 when you entered into your marriage.
- You were forced to enter into the marriage.
- You were fraudulently induced to enter into the marriage.
- Your spouse was married to another living spouse at the time you entered into the marriage.
May I be granted an annulment if I have only been married a short time?
No. The fact that you and your spouse have only been married a short time is not a proper ground for an annulment. If you do not satisfy one of the conditions listed above, then you must file a petition for divorce to dissolve your marriage.
May I obtain an annulment if I have had or will have children with my current spouse?
If there are children born or to be born resulting from the purported marriage, then the general rule is that an annulment will not be granted. If you and your spouse do have children, and you believe that you satisfy the requirements for an annulment, you should speak with an attorney.
How long does an annulment take?
An order granting an annulment can be issued by a judge thirty days after the other person has been served with a copy of your Petition for Annulment.
May I receive alimony if my marriage is annulled?
You may request an award of temporary alimony. However, you cannot request an award of permanent alimony. Alimony can be awarded only in the dissolution of a valid marriage.
How long do I have to wait before I can get married again?
You can remarry anytime after the Court issues a final order granting an annulment.
Why would I ever need to file for an annulment?
- If you die prior to having your invalid marriage annulled, then your purported spouse may make a claim against your estate that he/she would otherwise not be eligible to make.
- You can have a judge divide any joint property or joint debts.
- You can have your former name restored.