Is an annulment right for you?

Whirlwind romances don’t occur exclusively in movies. Sometimes there’s a spark when people meet online or while on vacation. The spark turns into love and evolves into a marriage proposal. After vows are exchanged, something may not feel right and it feels like a mistake has been made.

If you recently married and genuinely feel like you made a mistake, you probably want to end the marriage as quickly as possible. This post will briefly explain two ways this can be accomplished.   

A new marriage can be dissolved through an annulment or through a divorce. Both essentially accomplish the same thing, but there are important differences. An annulment treats the marriage as if it never existed, whereas a divorce comes with stipulations about how marital property should be divided. After all, wedding gifts given to a couple could be considered marital property subject to equitable division.

Additionally, different requirements must be met in order to get a marriage annulled as opposed to obtaining a divorce. Generally speaking, an annulment can be granted if the marriage is based on fraud (e.g. marriage visa fraud, polygamy) or lack of consent (i.e. being married under duress or lacking legal ability to consent). Conversely, a divorce may be granted if the parties show irreconcilable differences (i.e. the inability to move past personal differences).

It should be noted that the evidentiary standard for obtaining an annulment is higher than the standard needed to obtain a divorce.

If you have further questions about annulments, an experienced family law attorney can help.

The preceding is not legal advice. 

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Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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