Divorce? You might be able to get an annulment

If you didn’t marry when you were sober or you want to erase the fact that you were ever married to your spouse because of lies they’ve told you, an annulment may be right for you. An annulment differs from a divorce because it gives you the option to make it so that your marriage never happened. It’s like erasing it from your background completely.

This is unlike a divorce in which you have a legal document that ends your marriage but that still recognizes it existed. Most people will need to go through a divorce, but some may be able to use an annulment to end a marriage instead.

What are some common reasons for getting an annulment?

Getting an annulment is possible if you have:

  • Proof that you married when you were not competent to do so
  • Proof of being defrauded about a major part of the marriage, such as if your spouse hid that they were impotent or had a sexually transmitted disease.
  • Evidence that you were forced to marry despite not wanting to do so
  • Gotten married before the age of 18
  • Proof that your spouse was married at the time of the wedding
  • Evidence that your spouse hid that they were pregnant with another person’s child

Here’s an example. If Kate and Ryan get married to each other but Kate hides the fact that she’s pregnant with her ex-partner’s child, then Ryan may ask to have the marriage annulled once he finds out that she attempted to defraud him.

In another situation, if Ryan was hiding the fact that he was carrying HIV or AIDs and married Kate, Kate could later ask for an annulment because she was lied to and married her spouse without that knowledge.

An annulment requires a serious offense of some kind in most cases that occur. If you want to get an annulment rather than going through a divorce, it’s a good idea to build up a strong case with evidence. To invalidate a marriage is much more serious than getting a divorce, and it is an exacting process requiring detailed information.