Last Updated on
The idea of an annulment is one many people prefer. Divorce is never something people want to admit they’ve been through, especially if you married young and view your choices as mistakes. The problem with annulment is it’s not available to just anyone who wants to erase their marriage and start all over as a single person with no history of prior marriages on record. Divorce is the more common option, but you might want to know how you can get an annulment. If all you do is fight, you cannot get an annulment for that. Your marriage must end because you divorce. However, learning what situations are grounds for annulment can help you if there is a bit more to your marriage than just constant fighting.
What are the grounds for annulment?
If you want to end your marriage, you can ask about annulment. It might not work for you, but there is no harm in considering it if you want to really start over. There are only a few reasons you can ask for an annulment, and fighting is not one of them. However, if your marriage also includes one of the following issues, you might be able to file for an annulment rather than a divorce to end your fighting.
You Weren’t Of Age – If you got married and one of you was not at least 18, you might have grounds for annulment. All people who get married prior to their 18th birthday must have the valid signature of a parent to apply for a marriage license. If one of you forged it or didn’t get it and still managed to get a marriage license, you have four years following the date of your 18th birthday to ask for an annulment.
One of You Is Already Married – This is not the same as polygamy when one of you takes multiple husbands or wives. This is slightly different. Perhaps you thought your previous marriage was over because you filed for divorce or your spouse went missing and you thought he was declared dead. However, you find out later you are still married. This is grounds for annulment.
You Married With Unsound Mind – If one or both of you agreed to the marriage while intoxicated, on drugs, or one of you is not mentally capable of making informed decisions, you can file for annulment at any point prior to the death of your spouse.
Fraud or Force – If you were forced under duress to marry your spouse or you were tricked into getting married due to fraud, you can get an annulment. For example, if you were threatened and got married because you were scared, it’s force. If your spouse told you he wanted as many kids as you and you later found out he had a vasectomy long before you got married and now you can’t have kids, it’s considered fraud and a valid reason for an annulment.
Physically Unable to Consummate – When you get married, you are supposed to consummate your marriage. If you did not, you can file for an annulment. It might be because your spouse refused to, cannot do it, or has the inability to do it, and you can’t live like that. You can ask for an annulment for this reason only in the four years immediately after your marriage.
If you are doing nothing but fighting and your marriage falls into one of these categories, you can file for an annulment. If your marriage does not fall into any of these categories but you want to end it regardless, you must call an attorney and ask about a divorce. The divorce option still ends your marriage, but it doesn’t make it invalid and erase it from your past. It does, however, get you out of an unhappy situation with a spouse you don’t respect.