There are multiple grounds in Michigan law for parties to seek an annulment versus a divorce. It is not necessarily easier to get an annulment than a divorce, but there may be reasons a person may wish to seek annulment rather than commence a divorce proceeding. Whether or not you would qualify for an annulment and if it is in your best interest to do so are extremely fact-based questions that only an attorney can fully flesh out and walk you through. Michigan statutes allow annulment for the following situations:
- Bigamy: This would apply if one party was already married
when they got married a second (or third, etc.) time. (See MCL 551.5 & MCL 552.1)
- Kinship: The spouses are too closely related. (See MCL 551.3 & MCL 551.4)
- Underage or Incapacity: For example, one of the parties was underage the age of 16 when they married. (See MCL 551.51) Or, one of the parties was under the age of 18 without permission of parent or guardian when they married. (See MCL 551.103 & MCL 552.34) Or, one of the parties was incapable of entering into a contract due to a mental incapacitation or disability. (See MCL 552.1 & MCL 552.36)
- Fraud or duress: A party entered into a marriage based on a fraud or under duress. However, note that in Michigan, Section 552.37 clarifies that this basis may not be used if at “any time before the commencement of [the lawsuit for annulment], there was a voluntary cohabitation of the parties as husband and wife.”
- Physical: A party is unable to have children and this fact was not discovered by the other spouse until after the marriage. (See MCL 552.39) Note that this particular reason must be brought to the Court via the filing of a suit within two (2) years of the marriage date.
There may be certain situations or fact patterns that fit into one or more of the above or fall into other categories that your attorney can strategize with you to determine the best possible approach. Call us at 734-562-0142 or reach out to us online here. We will gather your story, assess your situation, and help you identify the best path forward.