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What is an annulment?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2019 | divorce and family law |

Annulments can be issued on a religious basis, but they’re also legal ways to dissolve a marriage. Annulments are quite different from divorce, and as a result, fewer people are eligible for them when looking to put an end to their marital unions. If you’re thinking about having your marriage annulled, Very Well Mind offers the following information.

Unlike a marriage, which ends a legal union, annulments end marriages that are claimed to have never been legal in the first place. Accordingly, those requesting the annulment must be prepared to establish a specific reason for why they’re making the request. For instance, if one or both spouses were already married at the time of the ceremony, that ceremony will not have been legally conducted. This is also true in cases where spouses were related or where one spouse or both spouses were incapable of making a rational decision.

Rationality can be impacted by mental illness or a disability, or it can be impacted by a person’s inebriation. An annulment may be requested due to the spouse being under the legal marriage age, being sexually dysfunctional, or because of a deliberate withholding of information that would have influenced a person’s decision to marry. This includes the presence of children from a previous marriage or a criminal history that was not sufficiently disclosed.

Once a marriage has been annulled, it’s like it never happened in the first place. As a result, you may not be eligible for spousal support, since the marriage is considered null and void. The issue of property division is also approached differently, since there won’t be marital property in the traditional sense. Instead, the judge may attempt to recreate the previous financial state of each party before the marriage transpired.