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When is it a good idea to seek an annulment?

There are times when a divorce is not the right way to end a marriage. Another option may be an annulment, particularly if your marriage should not be valid for some reason.

Divorces end legal marriages, while annulments end invalid marriages. If you're not sure which is right for you, then consider some of these facts to learn more.

What does it take to get an annulment?

Annulments may be granted to those who can show that the marriage was not valid. For example, if you got married to someone and later found out that they were already married to another person, then you'd be able to seek an annulment. Other grounds for annulment include:

  • No consent due to mental incapacity
  • One party was underage at the time of the marriage (without parental consent)
  • One person entered the marriage under duress or as a joke
  • The marriage was bigamous
  • One person married because of an act of fraud
  • No consent because of intoxication or impairment

Is there a time limit for annulments?

Yes, for many. For cases of dares, fraud, duress, or lack of capacity, you can pursue an annulment for up to six months after you find out about the problem. For sexual inability, you can seek an annulment up to one year after finding out about the condition.

You have two years to file for an annulment when the marriage involves underage parties with a lack of consent from guardians or parents. For any of the prohibited kinds of marriages, you can seek an annulment at any point leading up to the death of either party.

Our site has more on annulments and what you should do if you're interested in annulling your marriage.

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