An annulment, much like a divorce, is a type of legal procedure that officially ends a marriage. However, an annulment operates by treating the marriage as if it never existed. But which option is the better choice for you?
This choice depends on a wide variety of factors, including the length in the marriage and the reason that you’re seeking to end the marriage in the first place. It’s important to note that there are stricter grounds for obtaining an annulment, so most people will likely need to file for a divorce if they are looking to end a marriage.
The most common grounds for annulment include the following:
- Fraud. One spouse has purposefully concealed something that was absolutely essential to the relationship and marriage, such as an inability to ever have children or a serious criminal past.
- No consummation. One of the two spouses could be unable to engage in sexual intercourse, which was unknown by the other spouse.
- Incest. The couple discovers that they are actually too closely related by blood to be legally married in their state.
- Underage. One of the spouses falls below the age of consent in their state.
- Unsound mind. One of the spouses was somehow impaired at the time of the marriage, whether by drugs, alcohol or any other mental state that made them incapable of legally consenting to the marriage.
- Force. One of the spouses was forced into the marriage.
Annulments typically only happen with couples that have been married for a very short amount of time, and there usually are few assets to divide. If you think annulment may be the best option for your situation, work with a team of trusted Jacksonville family law attorneys.
Divorce attorney Shane Herbert contributed to this blog post.