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Know your rights: Divorces and annulments

You aren't happy with your marriage, and you were just married recently. You want to dissolve the marriage, but a divorce seems unnecessary since you've barely been married for a month.

One potential option is an annulment. Annulments are different from divorces because they can completely nullify your marriage. You would walk away from your marriage as if you'd never been married. With divorce, you're terminating a marriage, but the marriage itself was still valid.

When can you seek an annulment?

There are many times when you can annul a marriage, like if you were lured into the marriage fraudulently or did not consent to getting married.

Other common causes for annulment include:

  • Impotency that the other spouse didn't know about
  • Incest, when the spouses are too close in relation to be married
  • Concealment, where one spouse hides a major fact from the other prior to marriage
  • Misunderstandings, like when one spouse realizes that the other doesn't want to have kids.

To get an annulment, it's necessary to be in one of the above situations. Your attorney can talk to you about your situation and if it's one that would qualify. If not, then divorce is the other option you have, which would still allow you to separate but without invalidating the marriage.

If you are in a marriage you didn't want or don't agree with, an annulment could be the right answer. Talk to your attorney about annulments and divorce, and you may be pleasantly surprised to find out that you can go through an annulment instead of the longer divorce process.

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