Sometimes divorce isn’t your only option: Certain circumstances can render your marriage invalid. In the right circumstances, marriage annulment might be the right path.
An annulment means that a marriage is considered non-existent according to jurisdiction. Divorce means ending a valid marriage, while annulment means the marriage never lawfully existed from the beginning.
What Makes a Marriage Invalid?
There are a few grounds that can make a marriage invalid. One way a marriage can be considered null is fraud. If a person enters a marriage with fraudulent intentions, an annulment may be considered. Lying or keeping information from your spouse about fertility status, pregnancy with another person, or sexual intentions are all scenarios that can be considered for annulment.
Bigamy makes a marriage invalid too. Bigamy is defined as when a spouse is married to another living person simultaneously as the other marriage. An annulment can also be considered when a couple is under the age of 16. If a person in a marriage is deemed physically or mentally incapable, the marriage can be annulled, but the case must be opened within two years of marriage. The final way a marriage can be considered invalid is kinship. Marriages between relatives, even stepfamily, are illegal and invalid in the state of Michigan.
Opening an Annulment Case
An annulment can be just as complex as a divorce, so you should contact a family law attorney if you plan to open an annulment case. Your attorney will help you file a petition after you gather all the necessary evidence to make a successful claim. Both parties must be present in court to challenge the case and proceed legally. Then, you must wait for a judge to make a decision about the annulment claim. Certain properties and assets will be affected by a voided marriage. Your rights will change if the annulment is accepted.
Just like divorce, many factors play into this. Fundamentally flawed marriages deserve a different kind of attention. It is crucial to consult a family lawyer if you are considering annulment.