The word “annulment” is most often referenced in pop culture in regards to couples who had too much to drink while on vacation in Las Vegas and ended up getting married on an intoxicated whim. Certainly, it is possible to seek an annulment if you get married while seriously impaired by a substance like drugs or alcohol. But it is also possible to seek an annulment for a host of other significant reasons. Similarly, it is important to understand that not every couple who marries under strange circumstances is eligible for an annulment. If you have questions about whether or not you are eligible to seek an annulment, please consider scheduling a consultation with our firm. Once we understand the specifics of your situation, we will be able to advise you of your legal options and provide you with an experienced level of support.
How an Annulment Differs from a Divorce
The reasons why the annulment process differs from the divorce process are rooted in their very functions. A divorce serves to sever legal ties between two spouses who married in consensual, legally binding ways. An annulment serves to treat a union as if it never existed (legally speaking) because it was, in some significant way, legally improper for the union to be recognized in the first place. As a result, only certain unions are eligible for annulment status. All legally proper marriages must be dissolved via divorce.
A number of scenarios may render a couple eligible for an annulment. If one or both of the parties was already legally married at the time of the union, that could result in eligibility. Similarly, if one or more of the parties was not legally able to consent to the union, due to age, impairment, temporary insanity, etc. the marriage may be eligible for annulment. Another frequent reason couples seek to annul their unions is that fraud, duress or coercion played a significant role in the relationship. For example, so-called “green card marriages” entered into only for immigration purposes may be annulled under certain circumstances. Marriages entered into under threat may be similarly annulled.
It is worth noting that annulments generally need to take place within a specific period of time after a marriage has been entered into. Please consult an attorney about the relevant timing laws in your state.
Legal Support Is Available
If you are interested in seeking an annulment, please consider scheduling a consultation with a law firm today. Not every couple is eligible to pursue this legal avenue, but those that are may significantly benefit from the process. Once attorneys better understand your unique circumstances, they will be able to advise you of any legal options available to you and craft a legal strategy accordingly. A law firm is experienced in filing both annulment claims and divorce petitions, so they can be of assistance and support regardless of which path is right for you. Your legal options may become more limited over time, so please consider connecting with a lawyer, like a divorce lawyer in Lake Forest, IL from Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC, at your earliest possible convenience.