Divorce Papers » Annulment Cost
Annulment is a provision made by the states to erase an invalid marriage completely. The judges usually encourage the couples to go for divorce instead of annulment so that they can quickly separate and wouldn't have to cite and prove the grounds. The reasons or grounds for annulment are specified by each statute for the concerned state and are limited. One cannot just go and demand annulment instead of divorce. One has to be eligible to get an annulment.
How much does an annulment cost is a question faced by people who are stuck in a marriage, which is discovered to be null and void due to some conditions that were not fulfilled during the ceremony rendering the ceremony as null and void and the marriage, invalid.
The couples who have had a void or a voidable marriage are eligible to obtain an annulment. These marriages are based on specific conditions based on the provisions in the statutes of the particular states. One has to be careful while citing these grounds as it is important to prove them with the help of witnesses, documents as well as exhibits.
Common Grounds for Annulment:
Some of the common grounds for annulment as given by the various statutes are classified under two categories. These are as follows:
Void Marriage - Incestuous marriage, bigamy, underage marriage and same-sex marriage. In short, the marriages which are invalid right from the beginning are void marriages.
- Voidable Marriage - Insanity, impotency, fraud, force, adultery, intoxication, imprisonment and other reasons specific to the states. In short, marriages in which certain conditions make a marriage impossible to work are termed as voidable marriages.
As mentioned above, annulment is difficult to obtain as these grounds are difficult to prove and the court encourages the couples to go for divorce. Besides, there are many legal complexities in an annulment suit. Also, the costs involved in an annulment are higher then those involved in the divorce case.
Surprisingly, the costs involved in an annulment case is more than a divorce or a legal separation case. One has to consider all the intricacies and complexities of the provision of annulment while filing for the same.
The costs involved are as follows:
Court Charges - The court charges include everything from the fees for buying the annulment forms, filling them appropriately, sending the summons to the respondent, appeal and the proceedings of the annulment. In case of missing spouse, the petitioner has to publish the summons in the newspaper so as to let the respondent know of his/her decision to seek an annulment.
Besides these obvious charges, there are additional charges such as service, settlement meetings and the requirements for trial. Besides, the custody of the exhibits and the documents also remains with the court once these are presented as proofs to support the claims and allegations to support the petition of annulment.
In short, the court charges include the charges for filing petition and response, filling out the forms and receiving the response from the respondent and the documents related to the entire trial including the custody the exhibits and documents.
Attorney Charges - As annulment is a complicated provision, it is a wise move to hire an attorney so that one can get all the necessary guidance for filing for annulment with the court. The basic responsibility of a lawyer is to represent the party he has been signed by. Some lawyers charge on an hourly basis while some do it on the basis of per session.
Annulment being a difficult lawsuit, one should carefully choose a lawyer. It is important to hire an affordable attorney with whom one is comfortable with. These attorneys are generally associated with the American Bar Association.
There are also extra costs involved such as the postage, stationery charges as well as other miscellaneous charges. One can cut these costs down by asking for the break-up of the cost and doing some of the things on own.
Grounds Cited - The grounds cited for seeking the annulment determine the time the case will take to proceed and reach a verdict. These grounds are complicated as they are divided under various categories according to the state. The annulment rules change from state to state and it is difficult to get it from the court.
The grounds should be clearly mentioned and the proofs should be submitted, which clearly support the allegations without any disambiguations. This is easier said than done and even if the necessary proofs are submitted, it totally depends on the judge whether the annulment will be granted or not.
The intricacies and complexities of these grounds are so that only an experienced attorney can guide one through these clearly. As mentioned earlier, more the experience, higher the charges.
Resolving Marital Issues - Annulment does not necessarily address the marital issues as it is usually sought shortly after the marriage. However, for the long-term marriages, judges can order the couple to submit the details regarding all the assets, responsibilities, debts, real estate and children which are major issues of conflict in any dissolution cases.
In such cases, the court asks the couple to reach a mutual settlement and sign the court order confirming these arrangements and the marital issues are resolved.
Thus, the cost of annulment usually depends upon the parties whether they are willing to fight or resolve the issues in an out of court settlement.