What is an Annulment?
When two spouses marry each other, there is a valid marriage. Sometimes, because of a legal defect, the marriage is subject to annulment. If the defect is timely challenged in court, the marriage is “voidable”.
What is an example of a voidable marriage?
- If one or more of the spouses are under the influence of alcohol or narcotics and lacked the ability to consent to the marriage, and if the spouses have not lived with each other since the effects of the alcohol or narcotics ended
- If either party was permanently impotent at the time of the marriage, and the other spouse was not aware of the impotency at the time of the marriage, and if the spouses have not lived with each other since learning of the impotency
- If one spouse used fraud, duress or force to make the other party enter into the marriage, and if the spouses have not lived with each other since learning of the fraud or since being released from the duress or force
- If one spouse is mentally incompetent and lacked the ability to consent to the marriage and if the other spouse did not know of the incompetence, and if the spouses have not lived with each other since learning of the mental incompetency
- If one spouse was divorced from a prior spouse within 30 days of the marriage and the other spouse was unaware, and if the spouses have not lived with each other since learning of the prior divorce
- If the spouses married prior to the 72-hour waiting period required following the issuance of a marriage license. The waiting period can be waived by a judge. Also, if one of the spouses was on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, there is no waiting period
The most important element in these examples is that as soon as the defect was noted, there was no further cohabitation. Also, there must be a timely request for the annulment from the court. If the request is not timely, then the spouses must divorce each other.
Annulments are not subject to the normal 90-day waiting period for a divorce.
Consult an Annulment Expert
Timing is crucial when requesting an annulment. It is essential that you consult with a legal expert that understands when an annulment is possible and when divorce is necessary. If you want to proceed with an annulment or want to learn more about the difference between divorce and annulment, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable team. We can help to ensure that you understand your options and take the best possible course of action.