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©2005 by Help-U-File Family Law.

ANNULMENT

Restoring things to the way they were.

When a marriage ends it is an annulment, divorce or separation. An annulment occurs when there is a request to nullify a marriage and is only appropriate when the paperwork makes it look like a wedding happened, but in fact, there was no real marriage as we understand it.  

 

Some marriages must be annulled, as they are prohibited by law, as in the cases of incest and bigamy.  Other grounds may be treated differently, depending on how the parties treat the situation.  marriages that could be nullified may be validated by what the parties do afterward.  

 

Besides incent and bigamy, which cannot be cured, many common grounds for annulment can be cured. For instance, a person may be too drunk or too young to legally consent to marriage.  However, after the person becomes an adult or sobers up, if they accept their status without objection, then they will have “validated” the marriage.  A sham marriage to get an immigration status could be validated if the couple stayed together for a substantial time and participated in activities that gave the impression of an intact marriage (this would also present a problem proving there was fraud).  Serious deception, such as concealing impotence or lying about having had a vasectomy when the spouse wanted children, will be a good reason for an annulment only if the spouse brings a request right away after finding out.

 

As a practical matter, courts prefer to grant dissolutions rather than annulments. That is because there are no grounds needed or standards of proof required in order to grant a no-fault divorce.  On the other hand, every element of the grounds to annul a marriage must be specifically proved to be more likely than not true.  For instance, a person seeking an annulment for mental illness must provide evidence of that illness, such as proof of hospitalization or a doctor’s testimony.  

 

In appropriate cases, Help-U-File can help you with an annulment effectively and efficiently.