If you were married recently but are hoping to find a way out of the marriage by having it dissolved, you may have grounds for an annulment. A divorce is defined as a legal termination of a marriage that is valid. By comparison, an annulment is a declaration that a marriage has never existed. Essentially, through an annulment, both parties get a clean slate.

The reasons for an annulment are different because there are limitations in which they can be granted. A person can petition for an annulment if their situation meets any of the following criteria: 

  • Bigamy: If one spouse was legally married before the second marriage, then the latter marriage won’t be considered legal. Annulment can be submitted at any time while the spouse is alive.
  • Blood Relation: If the spouses are connected by blood then the marriage will be considered not legal and thus dissolved. 
  • Underage: Either spouse being under the age of 18 at the time of marriage can pursue an annulment of their marriage. Annulment can be requested within four years after the younger spouse becomes of adult age. 
  • Unsound Mind: If one spouse has a permanent or temporary mental condition which prevents them from understanding the marriage they entered, each spouse can file for an annulment. A common example of an unsound mind are couples who entered a married while heavily intoxicated. Annulment can be filed at any time prior to death, and the appointed agent or family member of a sick spouse can submit on their behalf. 
  • Incurable Physical Capacity: If either spouse endures a physical incapacity that hinders the ability the have sex or children, a petition for annulment can be filed within four years into the marriage. 
  • Force: In certain situations, particulary one with control and abuse, one spouse may force another into the marriage. The spouse who was forced can petition for a marriage annulment within four years of the marriage date. 

Steps of Marriage Annulment

Pursuing a marriage annulment begins by completing the appropriate documents and signing the petition. Then you have to provide details about the marriage and why you are requesting an annulment. Evidence or facts that support your claims can be influential in whether the annulment is approved. Your spouse will be served the petition documents, a hearing will be scheduled, and then a verdict is determined by the court judge.

Filing for an annulment can be stressful, and it isn’t uncommon for people to get help from a legal professional during this time. If you are hoping to get your marriage annulled, then consider speaking with a lawyer, such as an Annulment Lawyer in Alameda County, CA from Attorney Bernie at your next earliest convenience.