We all make mistakes. Some are relatively minor, while others can be life-altering. Amongst those more serious mistakes could be marriage. Tying the knot with the wrong person or under the wrong circumstances could lead to unhappiness and financial difficulties. Though divorce is always an option for those who are married, there may be another option available: an annulment.
An annulment is a legal device that essentially renders a marriage to have never existed. This makes annulment different from divorce, which is the dissolution of a valid marriage. However, annulled marriages may still be subjected to divorce legal issues such as child custody and child support. But what can qualify a marriage for an annulment?
There are several ways an annulment may be obtained. First, if a person suffers from a mental illness at the time of marriage and that illness rendered him or her unable to willingly consent to the union, then the marriage may be annulled. Second, if an individual is essentially tricked into the marriage by misrepresentations or lies told by the other party, then the marriage may be deemed to have been entered into on account of fraud, thus justifying an annulment. Other characteristics that may qualify a marriage for annulment are intoxication, duress, bigamy, incest and sham marriage.
Those who find themselves in a situation where they think their marriage is void or voidable may wish to consult with a legal professional. By learning if an annulment is fitting under the circumstances, an individual may be able to avoid many of the issues that arise with divorce and be able to move on with their life.
Source: FindLaw, "Annulments - Overview," accessed on Nov. 21, 2015