When a marriage does not work out, most couples opt for divorce. However, it is important to know that there are options beyond it, such as an annulment. One key difference between an annulment and a divorce is that in the first one, the two people are treated such that they were never married. In other words, the records of their marriage are permanently erased.
If you wish to obtain an annulment for your marriage, you will probably need the assistance of a divorce attorney in Massachusetts. An attorney can help you understand whether you qualify for an annulment or whether you need a divorce.
What is an annulment?
An annulment is a way to legally end your marriage by declaring the union null and void. When you get an annulment, you legally establish that your marriage with your spouse never existed in the first place and was never legally valid.
As one can guess, for a couple to get an annulment, they must establish that their marriage was invalid for some or other reason. If you believe your marriage with your spouse should never have taken place in the first place, you can opt for an annulment. By this, you go back to your status of “single” rather than “divorced.”
What are the grounds for an annulment?
There are certain grounds required for an annulment in Massachusetts. They are:
- The marriage took place under false pretenses (fraud/misrepresentation)
- The spouses were unable to consummate the marriage.
- There is an involvement of incest.
- Either spouse was married to someone at the time of the marriage.
- Either spouse did not give consent to the marriage.
- Either spouse was mentally unsound during the marriage.
- The marriage took place via threats, coercion, or blackmail.
- One or both spouses were not of legal age to marry.
If none of these situations apply to your case, it might be difficult to convince the judge to grant an annulment. In some states, you may be able to get a religious annulment. However, this won’t have an impact on your responsibilities as a spouse.
Is short duration a legal ground for an annulment?
Many people believe that a short-lived marriage can be easily ended with an annulment. However, that is only a misconception. Since an annulment nullifies your marriage, the grounds are very specific. The marriage still has to meet the conditions for it to be annulled.
Moreover, a marriage that has existed for a long time may not qualify for an annulment. There are certain time limits on when you can get an annulment. For example, California allows an annulment within four years of marriage.
An attorney can help you understand your state’s laws regarding it. Contact one today.