Documents required for Filing of Annulment

Divorce Papers » Documents required for Filing of Annulment

Annulment is a provision for the couple who have a doubt about the validity of their marriage. An annulment nullifies a marriage and wipes it off the records as if it never happened. It implies that a valid marriage never happened and the marriage was void "right from its inception". Annulment is usually a rare occurrence owing to the difficulty in proving the cited grounds. Also, the courts do not encourage the couples to file for an annulment. Instead, they are advised to file for divorce.

The documents required for filing of annulment are petition, appeal, response, settlement agreement (required only if children or joint property involved) and the final court decree granting the annulment.

The purpose of an annulment is to return the couple to their pre-marital status both socially and financially. The couple is able to remarry once the annulment is granted. The annulment is of two types: religious and civil. Religious annulment is granted by religious authority and civil annulment is granted by the court.

Annulment Forms:

The petitioner is supposed to fill the annulment forms in order to file for an annulment. These forms are available on the official website of each concerned state. One can download these forms and fill them with the help of an attorney as the grounds to be cited and the other provisions in an annulment petition are complicated.

Some of these forms are free. One just has to check for the free forms available online. When it comes to annulment, it is wise to refer to the forms on the official website instead of going for the websites which claim to have all the necessary forms. The annulment forms change according to the grounds cited and thus, utmost care should be taken while filling these.

These forms are ideally used when the couple mutually seeks an annulment. If there is a conflict, the lawyer guides the couple as to what steps they must take in order to get a hassle-free annulment.

Documents according to the Grounds of Annulment:

As mentioned above, the forms as well as other documents change according to the reasons or grounds cited for annulment. These grounds are specified by the respective states and one has to prove them with the help of documentation and witnesses in order to get an annulment.

Some of these general grounds are as follows:

  • Incestuous Marriage is a marriage between the people descending from the same ancestors or blood line
  • Bigamous Marriage is getting married to current partner while being already married to someone else with whom the divorce is not confirmed
  • Underage Marriage is when a person is below legal marriageable age while getting married
  • The marriage between the gay and lesbian couples i.e. same-sex marriage
  • Temporary or Permanent Insanity which hinders the normal functioning of a marital relationship by deteriorating the health of at least one spouse
  • Inability to consummate the marital relationship due to hidden sexual preference, sterility or any other physical reason is termed as Impotency
  • Fraud to lure the partner into the wedlock regarding the financial status, sexuality etc.
  • Coercing a person to marry with the use of Force such as threats, holding at gunpoint etc.

For all the above grounds cited, one needs to submit the proofs supporting these claims and allegations. These could be in the form of medical reports, legal complaint lodged with the police, psychological evaluation of the respondent, photographs and other documentation, which helps one to level the charges and also prove them in front of the court. It is necessary to preserve these proofs in order to get an annulment.

Property Settlement Agreement:

Unlike legal separation, annulment does not have a separation agreement. This is because the court assumes that if the petition has been filed shortly after the marriage there wouldn't be any property or children to divide.

However, the duration of marriage has nothing to do with filing for annulment. A couple who has filed for annulment after 20 years of marriage has to resolve the marital issues before they get an annulment. In such cases, the issues are resolved in the same way as they would be resolved in a divorce suit.

The court gives directions about the custody of the children, property settlement and other marital issues so that there would not be any conflict regarding these in future. Besides, the children are able to lead a normal life after the annulment of their parents' marriage.

Final Decree of Nullity:

The final court order is also known as "Judgment of Annulment", "Declaration of Nullity" or "Nullification of Marriage" according to the statute of the concerned state. This decree is granted by the judge in the form of a court order and is legally enforceable in every state of the USA. In case of the religious annulments, the decree is granted by the religious authority and is totally separate and different form a decree of civil annulment.

These documents need to be preserved carefully as they may be needed when the occasion arises. For instance, if one of the spouse decides to get married, he / she is supposed to submit the decree to the court in order to avail the marriage license in some states.

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