While lawyers and judges are the ultimate legal experts, of course, I believe that every citizen should take the time to learn a little about law for several reasons. First, it is important to know your rights, and knowing them can come in handy if anyone ever accuses you of a crime you didn't commit or threatens you legally in another other way. Second, learning about your local, state, and federal laws can help you act as a better citizen. When election time comes around, you can then truly understand ever change in law being proposed by a candidate and whether it benefits society or not. I plan to share posts about law topics explained in plain English on my new blog, so you can come back often to sharpen your legal knowledge!
There will be two legal ways of ending a marriage if it finally comes down to making this big decision. You can have your marriage annulled or get divorced. Annulments are not always possible since they are typically used for short marriages. However, be aware that an annulment will either invalidate the marriage or make it like it never happened. You'll need to have a strong case to present to a family court judge if you want to move forward with an annulment.
Grounds For Getting An Annulment
A judge looks at many things when they determine if an annulment will be allowed. It is common for short marriages, meaning those that can be measured in days or weeks, to have a higher chance of being granted an annulment. There may be specific time limits to be granted an annulment according to your state's laws, so be aware if you qualify on the most basic guideline level.
Other factors that are taken into consideration include if one person was underage, if someone has a mental illness, if consent was forced, or if there was never a consummation of the marriage.
Process For Getting An Annulment
The paperwork for annulments is similar to the paperwork for divorces. The process starts with a visit to your local family court and receiving the correct forms. These forms will list personal information about why you are seeking to have your marriage annulled.
It is recommended that you be completely honest when you fill out the annulment paperwork. It may feel embarrassing to have to list intimate details about your marriage, but a judge uses these details to make a decision about your annulment. For instance, your quickie wedding in Las Vegas may have been a drunken mistake, but you must let a judge know why if you want the annulment granted. Keep your statements short and sweet on the paperwork for now and be prepared to explain them later in detail.
When Divorce Is The Best Option
An annulment will not usually divide assets or property, and alimony won't be granted either. Divorce is always best when decisions on child custody or dividing assets will be necessary.
Not sure what the best option is for you when it comes to ending a marriage? Work with a local family law attorney in your area. They can guide you through the entire process for an annulment or help you through formal divorce proceedings.