Divorce Papers » Annulment

Annulment is a legal procedure to end an invalid marriage. This process declares a marriage null and void and thus wipes it off from the records as if it never happened and the spouses are allowed to remarry after the judgment of nullity is granted.

Difference between a Divorce and an Annulment:

The difference between divorce and annulment is that divorce severs the marital ties by resolving the marital issues whereas an annulment is a dissolution of an invalid marriage (the marriage that can never be considered as a proper marriage).

Besides, any couple can file for divorce, whereas, not every couple is eligible for an annulment and can file only if they can prove the grounds they have cited.

Divorce can be granted on the basis of "irreconcilable differences" or "irretrievable breakdown of marriage" in the states where no-fault divorce is available. But the grounds for an annulment are defined by the statute of the concerned state and need to be proved in the court.

Types of Annulment:

There are two types of annulment. These are as follows:

  1. Religious Annulment - Annulment granted by the religious authority such as church in case of a Catholic couple, is called as religious annulment. The marriage is declared as null and void and thus it never exists in the eye of the religious authority.

  2. Civil Annulment - Annulment granted by the court or the governing body of the state is known as a civil annulment. If a couple has been granted a civil annulment, it does not mean that they are religiously annulled as well. They have to file for religious annulment separately.

Annulment is retroactive that is it considers a marriage to be null and void right from the beginning. It is considered that something important was amiss from the ceremony or the way the marriage was conducted. The declaration of nullity states that the marriage never took place. Annulment is also known as declaration of nullity, judgment of annulment, judgment of nullity or nullification of marriage.

Types of Marriages:

It should be noted that not all couples are eligible for annulment. There are two types of marriages which render a couple eligible to get an annulment. These types are as follows:

  1. Void Marriage - A marriage which is void ab initio is considered as a void marriage. It means that it was invalid right from the beginning and thus has to be nullified. There were certain conditions for a marriage to be valid which were not met during the conduction of a marriage.

  2. Voidable Marriage - A marriage which is considered as valid until its annulment is termed as a voidable marriage. It implies that the marriage was valid until one of the spouses discovered something which rendered the marriage invalid.

Annulment is a rare occurrence if children are involved. The court encourages the couple to go for a a divorce so as to resolve important marital issues such as childcare and support payments. The children of an invalid marriage are always considered legitimate in every state.

Common Grounds for Annulment:

The grounds for annulment differ from state to state. However, there are some common grounds on which one can get an annulment in almost all the states. These grounds are as follows:

  • Bigamous Marriage - Marrying another person while being married to a person with an undissolved marriage.
  • Incestuous Marriage or Consanguinity - If the husband and the wife are blood relatives or relatives by marriage, it is incest.
  • Adultery - Engaging in multiple sexual encounters while being married to a person.
  • Prohibited Marriage such as Same-sex Marriage - Being a part of the marriage, which is not permitted by law and is hence invalid right from inception.
  • Force or Duress - If a person is forced to enter the wedlock with threats or coercion, it is termed as force or duress.
  • Fraud - Committing a monetary or a moral fraud in order to lure a person into a wedlock.
  • Incompetency - Refusal or inability to consummate a marriage and therefore lead a normal marital life.
  • Intoxication - Being heavily drunk while getting married as usually happens with the marriages in Las Vegas.
  • Underage Marriage - Either of the spouse being under the legal marriageable age.
  • Temporary or Permanent Insanity - Being diagnosed with insanity, mental illness or mental disorder which incapacitates the person physically and mentally.
  • Concealment - Concealing important facts related to the well-being of the spouse and the normal functioning of a marital relationship such as income, habits or sexual preference, etc.
  • Imprisonment or Incarceration - Conviction of the charges of felony and imprisonment and incarceration due to the same.

These are some common grounds for annulment in the USA. A partner can file for annulment citing any of the above reasons and they can get an annulment after they prove these grounds in the court. These grounds are never assumed to be true and there has to be a strong proof of the allegations being true. Until proved, the grounds are treated as allegations and annulment is not granted.

Here are some topics associated with Annulmnt:

Information about state specific Annulment

Las Vegas
New Jersey
New Hampshire
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
South Dakota
West Virginia

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