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How to get a marriage annulled

August 12, 2016 Our Blog

If you believe that your marriage is illegal, or invalid, you may want to consider getting an annulment. An annulment is a marriage that is declared by courts to be null and void. A marriage which is annulled, means it’s marriage contract is voided – which means the couple were never married.

In order to get an annulment, you have to state the reason your marriage is invalid. You may be eligible for an annulment if the marriage is due to:

-your spouse is married to someone else

-you/your spouse are under age of consent

-your spouse is a relative

-you were forced, or coerced into marrying

-your consent was obtained through fraudulent methods

-your spouse is impotent

-you were of unsound mind

If you fit even one of these criteria’s, you should begin filing the annulment paperwork. You have to file them in the county you live in. Every state has it’s own annulment requirements, which provide strict guidelines on how to file the action, including when you need to file it by. There are often time requirements, which depend on your local state laws. To get started, you have to file the annulment petition. You will need to complete the paperwork and provide appropriate evidence which shows why your marriage is voidable.

It can take ~a year for an annulment to be granted. In some cases, it can be quicker and cheaper than getting a divorce. If you don’t think you can satisfy the requirements for annulment, you can still end the marriage by going through divorce. You can cite, irreconcilable differences and get a divorce. IF you do get a divorce, you can be eligible for a share of the property, alimony, and other spousal benefits – granted under the laws of your state. If you annul your marriage, you may not be eligible for these things.

How can I get an annulment for free?

The annulment of a marriage is an ancient process still in existence in the Roman Catholic Church as well as a few other religious organizations. It is something that is highly important to those who are interested in making sure that they remain within the rules of the Church with which they worship.

Naturally, those who are married and looking for a separation from their partner are likely to want to find out what they can do about getting an annulment for free. After all, the idea of paying for this type of service is not something that most are all that interested in. They want to stay within in the bounds of the religion, but they don’t want to have to pay for it. Fortunately, there are options which make this possible.

A website known as talks about the latest information from the Church. One of the topics that they have covered is that the current Pope (Pope Francis) has looked at simplifying the process for the annulment of a marriage. The Pope has stated that he is not in the business of promoting the dissolution of marriage, but that he wants to try to simplify the process for those who find themselves in this difficult situation.

Keep in mind that the Church is highly interested in promoting marriage and having those marriage happy and successful. However, modern reforms have made it possible to understand that these types of things can sometimes fall apart. More and more in the modern world people have a lot of reason why they may not want to stay together. In the past such a situation would require that one person in the marriage had committed adultery or something similar. These days though there are more options.

The changes to the annulment rules comes as a result of the Pope’s concern for the salvation of souls. He wants to promote mercy and charity for those who are in a difficult situation.

Bare in mind that it was not that long ago that many in the Church had to suffer in silence as they worked through their marriages and the separation issues that they may have had to face. The Pope is trying to lighten the guilt and other issues that those individuals face. It is a progressive move in the right direction in the opinion of many.

One of the changes that the Pope has proposed is to make the process of annulment free. He wants to allow more people to have the opportunity to get the annulment that they need. These annulments can still remain a lengthy process, but at least they are now becoming a process that one can get for free.

Changes like this continue to come to the Church all the time under the guidance of this new Pope. It is important to keep an eye on how these changes continue to come.

Can our marriage be annulled if he has been deported?

Can a person receive an annulment of marriage simply because the other spouse has been deported? The short answer is no.
Marriages can end in divorce or annulment, and it’s easy to get the two confused. Divorce is a legal proceeding that ends the marriage, but both parties acknowledge that there was a marriage, it didn’t work for whatever reasons, and now they can move on. Once the divorce is final, their marital status is considered to be legally divorced. Annulment on the other hand is an acknowledgement that, for whatever reasons, the marriage shouldn’t have ever taken place. Therefore, once the annulment is final, the marital status is reverted to single – or whatever it was prior to the annulled marriage.

There are many reasons that a marriage can be annulled, and the acceptable reasons vary by state. Some of the most common reasons are if one person threatened or forced the other into the marriage, if one person was too young or too mentally impaired to give legal consent, bigamy, incest, and lack of consummating (sex) the marriage top the list of reasons some courts grant annulments. In some cases, being intoxicated at the time legal documents are signed, or when the wedding takes place, counts as legal mental impairment as well.
Fraud is also a reason for annulments in most states. In some cases, people conceal being already married (bigamy) or past marriages and the reasons they ended in divorce. A person concealing his or her positive HIV status prior to marriage is usually a reason for annulment. Some states have granted annulment because a man failed to divulge that he had another woman pregnant at the time the marriage took place.

Some people find out that the proposal, and subsequent marriage, was simply a partner wanting to obtain a green card to remain in the United States (also considered fraud). While the deportation itself is not a reason for annulment, the cause of the deportation could be a factor if there is evidence that the main goal of the marriage was to try to keep the other party in the country.

Just like a divorce, legalizing an annulment takes place in a courtroom with a judge or magistrate. Both parties have to be notified of the proceedings in order to participate equally so both have a chance to present evidence and testimony. If one person is out of the country, it may be difficult or impossible for that person to be “served,” or notified up the upcoming proceedings. Many states won’t proceed if both parties can’t be served. If the other party is served and can’t, or won’t, attend court, the judge can decide to proceed in his or her absence.
While it is still possible that deportation can be a reason for annulment, the circumstances will be the deciding factor. It is best to ask the advice of an attorney in the state in which the person seeking annulment resides about the specifics.

Can My Marriage Still Be Annulled if I My Husband is Missing?

Moving forward with a divorce is something few people want to delay unnecessarily. Yet, no matter how well you plan and expect cooperation from your spouse, sometimes things do not go as planned.

While most couples file for divorce once they decide the marriage is over, others may choose to simply abandon their spouse. This leads to a “missing” spouse that you have no idea how to locate. Under normal circumstances, you must serve divorce papers before legal proceedings can begin.

What are your options if your spouse decides to leave without sharing their contact information? One option you could pursue is to get an annulment to end the marriage.

What is an Annulment?

An annulment of a marriage is the legal process of dissolving the union by declaring it null and void. Unlike a divorce that terminates a legal marriage, an annulment is a court declaration that the marriage never existed. In both cases, the couple returns to single or unmarried status after the decree.

How the Annulment Process Works

In the traditional method of initiating a divorce proceeding, your attorney must serve your spouse with notice of the action. Typically, the papers are served at your spouse’s last known address. The notice can also be delivered in person if your spouse is located somewhere else, such as their place of employment.

However, if your attorney has made diligent efforts to find your spouse, but has been unsuccessful, you can request an Order of Notice by Publication. This gives you the chance to place a notice of your intent to divorce your spouse in a local newspaper. The newspaper must be near your spouse’s last known address.

So, if you live in Georgia, but the last address you have for your spouse is Indiana, you must run the notice in an Indiana newspaper that publishes near your spouse’s address. Generally, the legal advertisement runs for at least three weeks. Your spouse will get time to respond to the final notice. If your spouse never responds your attorney may begin the proceedings to finalize your divorce by default.

Service By Publication Notice

It is important to make sure you exhaust all efforts to locate your spouse before seeking an annulment. Secondly, the court must approve placing the notice to your missing spouse in a local newspaper. The divorce is filed before placing the ad.

Verify whether you can choose the local paper; some courts have recommended papers in which to place the notice. Others may require placing the notice in a paper with a certain circulation number. Additionally, your attorney will make sure you can prove that all effort to locate your spouse is exhausted before petitioning the court for an annulment.

Once the court makes the default judgment, it will also decide the terms of the divorce based on what you have requested. In what is usually agreed to in a settlement agreement between both parties, the court issues a decision based on your grounds. This may include division of property, child support, spousal support, custody and visitation rights.

How to get an Annulment

You can get an annulment if you want to have a court get involved, and declare that the marriage isn’t valid. Hypothetically, you can petition for an annulment when you first get married. There are five main reasons why you can ask for a marriage to be annulled.

Too young: If someone under the 18 wants to marry, he/she needs the consent of both parents. Marriage of a person under 16 needs the approval of a judge. If the requirements aren’t met, then the spouse whose still under 18 can get an annulment.

Lack mental capacity: If you, or the spouse, was/is mentally ill, or isn’t in the right mental capacity at the time of the marriage – then the marriage can be annulled for the reason while either spouse is still living.

Lack of physical capacity to consummate: If you or your spouse is physically unable to have sex, but didn’t know so at the time of the marriage, then the marriage can be annulled. In order to get this type of annulment, you must do so within the first 5 years of the marriage.

Consent received by force of fraud: If you went into a marriage due to pressure, force, or fraud, you can get an annulment. For example, if someone married you just to get a green card – that would be an example of marriage fraud. If someone claimed to be pregnant in order to get you to agree to a marriage, that’s another example. Another example would be claiming your spouse wants to have children – but then doesn’t.

Incurable mental illness: If your spouse is mentally ill for a period longer than 5 years, and can’t be cured, you can ask for an annulment.

When a marriage is annulled, it’s null and voided. That means it never existed. The record of both the marriage and annulment remains, but you and your spouse can act as if you were never married before. Any of the children from your marriage is legitimate. After your annulment, there are somethings to consider and think about

Children: Any children you and your spouse have must be considered. When the marriage is annulled, the court will make a decision on custody rights, visitation rights, and the financial support of the children involved.

Division of property: The court will decide on how property will be divided between you and your spouse.


If you and your spouse decide getting an annulment is a good idea – then we encourage you to contact our NYC divorce lawyers. Our annulment attorneys can help file an annulment, and help you figure out how to handle issues like child support, and other such things.




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