An Annulment Lawyer Can Help Declare a Marriage Legally Invalid

going through legal paperworkAn annulment attorney with our Ogden, UT, firm can help you dissolve your marriage. Our attorneys can review your case during a consultation, help you file the necessary documentation, and assist you in the annulment process.

Divorce vs. Annulment

Unlike a divorce, which dissolves a valid marriage between two parties, an annulment declares the marriage invalid and treats it as though it never existed.

Divorce typically happens after two parties have been married long-term and may involve a division of assets and settlement of debt. If children are involved, it may include court proceedings to determine custody, visitation rights, and spousal or child support.

An annulment declares the marriage legally invalid and either party may initiate the process. The initiating party must prove grounds for an annulment to be granted. Annulments typically take place within a few weeks or months after the marriage, so it does not involve a division of assets or debts. Occasionally, a long-term marriage may be annulled. Most states have provisions to handle annulments involving assets or children.

Types of Annulments

There are two types of annulments. The first is a civil annulment, which is granted by the state following a court hearing. The second type is a religious annulment. The civil annulment must be obtained prior to seeking a religious annulment. The Roman Catholic Church and some other religious institutions grant religious annulments to allow one or both parties to remarry within the church and have the second marriage recognized by the church. The grounds for a religious annulment are different from those for a civil annulment, so you will want to consult with a church leader for instructions on how to proceed.

Unlike a divorce, which dissolves a valid marriage between two parties, an annulment declares the marriage invalid and treats it as though it never existed.

Grounds for an Annulment

The grounds for a civil annulment will vary from state to state, but there are a few general conditions most states require:

  • Fraud or Misrepresentation: One spouse lied about something such as their ability to produce children, whether or not they were legally married to someone else at the time (bigamy), the marriage was entered into for the sole purpose of one party gaining citizenship, or one of the parties was underage (or did not obtain the appropriate parental or court permissions to marry).
  • Concealment: One spouse hid a major factor such as substance abuse or gambling addiction, a prior felony conviction, children from previous relationships, or sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Misunderstanding: This is typically based on one spouse’s desire to have or not have children, not clearly communicated prior to the marriage.
  • Impotency and Incest: One spouse is unable to consummate the marriage due to impotency and the other was unaware of this prior to the marriage. Alternatively, marriage was entered into by two parties too closely related for the marriage to be legal and recognized by the state.
  • Lack of Consent: One or both parties was too impaired by drugs or alcohol to consent, did not have the mental capacity due to illness to consent, or didn’t enter the marriage voluntarily.

Either party initiating the annulment must prove one of the above grounds to be granted an annulment.

Contact Us

Pursuing annulment can be very complicated without legal expertise. The attorneys at Froerer & Miles have helped many clients to annul their marriages. To schedule your consultation, please contact us today.

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