If you’re in an unhappy marriage, an annulment is a topic worth discussing. Some people believe an annulment is a shortcut for divorce. Others assume an annulment has its own baggage. The truth is, an annulment means the entire marriage is null. In other words, it was as if the marriage never existed in the first place. For a marriage to be considered void, a District Court Judge must issue a court order. Therefore, there are only a select number of circumstances where marriage will be annulled.
When an Annulment is NOT an Option
Often, people believe the length of their marriage qualifies for an annulment. It does not matter whether you’ve been married for one week or thirty years, you only qualify if certain criteria are met. Therefore, length does not count.
When an Annulment is an Option
There are a few circumstances where annulment is granted, including:
- Marriage between family – Any marriage between two individuals “closer in relationship than first cousins” is eligible for an annulment.
- Underage – If one party is under the age of 16, the marriage may be annulled.
- Impotence – If one member of the union is impotent, and medically diagnosed by a doctor, the marriage may be annulled.
- Mental capacity – If one of the parties does not have the mental capacity to understand the concept of marriage, the marriage may be considered void.
- False pretense – Should one enter a marriage under a false pretense, such as a claim of a child on the way, yet there is none within ten months, the marriage may be annulled.
If your situation falls into any one of these categories, you may speak with an attorney to begin the annulment process.