Westerville Ohio Divorce Attorney
How to determine what type of termination of your marriage is appropriate for your case, part 2.
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One method a lot of people ask about is: Annulment. It is often believed that it would be faster and less expensive to just treat the marriage as if it never happened. This is generally not true:
An annulment can only be used to terminate a marriage as following:
- To terminate a void marriage, meaning the marriage was never legal in the first place (i.e.: a bigamous marriage, or underage marriage).
- To terminate the marriage based upon certain factors occurring prior to the marriage, such as fraud, duress, or lack of capacity to enter into a marriage.
- To terminate a valid marriage, based upon non-consummation.
There are good reasons for getting an annulment. Religious considerations, habitual intoxication, or lack of mental capacity may be reasons to seek an annulment. However, if you have children or property together, treating a marriage as if it never happened may not be a good solution.
To further complicate the question of an annulment is the legal concept of “ratification” which may make valid a marriage, which would otherwise be void or void-able.
While annulment is a valid and appropriate means to terminate your marriage, the rules regarding its application are complex. If your goal is to terminate your marriage fast and cheap, an annulment should not be your first choice. If you have other reasons to want an annulment of your marriage, you should seek a family law attorney. This is not a “do it yourself” type of action.