There are times when a divorce is not actually the correct way to end a marriage. Sometimes, a better option is an annulment. Annulments are interesting because unlike divorces, they completely cancel a marriage. They make it as if you've never been married at all.
While a divorce ends a legal marriage, an annulment may end a marriage that was not legal or one that was based on fraud or other misunderstandings, as an example. Essentially, it makes it so the marriage was never valid.
What qualifies a marriage for an annulment?
Annulments may be used in a few cases, including when:
- There was a lack of consent to marry due to being forced to marry or lacking the mental capacity to understand marriage
- There was a misunderstanding, such as one spouse being unwilling to have children
- There is impotency or incest involved in the marriage
- Concealment took place, such as hiding a past felony conviction
- Misrepresentation or fraud is at the center of the marriage, like getting married and lying about their age or being married to another person already
In each of these cases, there is a possibility to seek an annulment instead of a divorce. Generally, annulments happen early on in marriages, so there aren't the same issues to deal with. However, if an annulment does involve a long-term marriage, then the state laws have to be followed carefully when ending the marriage, similarly to a divorce.
Your attorney can help you through an annulment if you believe that your marriage qualifies for one instead of having to go through a divorce.