What is a marriage annulment?
We often hear about annulments in the content of celebrities or spontaneous Las Vegas weddings. For example, in 2004, Britney Spears had a 55-hour marriage to her ex Jason Alexander when they decided to married while in Las Vegas. She was able to have her marriage annulled because she claimed she “lacked understanding of her actions, to the extent that she was incapable of agreeing to the marriage”.
What is the difference between an annulment and a divorce?
The best way to think of an annulment is to make a marriage “null and void”. When a marriage is annulled, it is as if it never occurred. As opposed to a divorce, when the marriage—although over—still existed under the law.
Annulment is not what movies and television series make it out to be. Marriages cannot automatically be annulled if the parties did not consummate the marriage or they were heavily intoxicated when they wed, like Ross and Rachel in Friends. At least, that is not the case in the state of Maryland.
A marriage can be annulled when the marriage is considered void or voidable. Void means that something with the marriage was defective from the beginning. For example, bigamy can be grounds for annulment. Bigamy is when someone is legally married to one person but marries another. In Maryland, it is illegal to be married to more than one person. The second marriage is therefore void and can be annulled. Other reasons for annulment in the State of Maryland include: if one of the parties was under-age and cannot legally consent to the marriage, if close blood relatives get married, or if a person forced the other to get married against their own will.
What are the benefits of annulling a marriage?
An annulled marriage provides benefits that should be considered when you are faced with a void marriage. For instance, the court can help resolve issues related to marital property, award use and possession of the family home, and award alimony. Even child custody and child support can be addressed because these issues exist regardless of whether the parents of the child were ever wed.
How do I get my marriage annulled?
Most family law attorneys can assist you with the process of annulling your marriage. The benefit of using a family law attorney is that, in the case of your marriage actually being valid, they can also assist you with other options like a divorce.
Our team can access whether your marriage is or is not valid. We can also help guide you through the process of receiving either an annulment or a divorce.
If you have questions about annulment or would like to annul your marriage, please contact the Law Office of Laurie M. Wasserman LLC at 410-842-1070 or email@example.com. We practice in jurisdictions throughout the State of Maryland.