Why People Get an Annulment Rather Than a Divorce

One of the main differences between an annulment and a divorce is how the law views each of them. An annulment is used to make it seem like a marriage did not happen, which essentially invalidates it. You may want to know why some people choose to get an annulment instead of a divorce and which option is ideal for your situation. 

Previous Marriage Was Never Finalized

If it is discovered that one person was already married to another person at the time of their next marriage, this will be grounds to have the marriage annulled. This can be due to the paperwork never being finalized, or someone not telling their new spouse about a previous marriage where the divorce was never made official. As much as two people want to get married, legal steps must be taken first to ensure all previous marriages have ended. 

Consent Did Not Occur

Perhaps you or your spouse did not consent to the marriage at the time. This can happen in a situation where someone was not of sound mind and body, such as being intoxicated and visiting a wedding chapel that did not stop the marriage from happening. The law allows the marriage to be annulled so it is as if it didn't happen. 

A person may lie about their age to be married. They may be below the required age according to state laws, which would make the marriage invalid and require an annulment. Another unique situation with consent can be if someone is suffering from a mental illness and does not fully understand what is happening at the time they are married.

Deception Was Used to Mislead Their Spouse

Another situation is if fraud played a role in why one person decided to marry the other person. This often comes up when a spouse has concealed information about an important part of their relationship, such as the ability to have children. Even the unwillingness to consummate the marriage can be considered deception. Sometimes deception can come from not disclosing information about yourself to your spouse. For example, not letting the other person know that you are a convicted felon could be considered a form of deception.

Not sure if your marriage would qualify for an annulment? Reach out to a family law attorney in your area. They can review your case and let you know what could help it qualify for an annulment rather than a divorce.