What is a Civil Annulment?
A civil annulment is when the court declares a marriage to be not valid. After an annulment, unlike a divorce, it is as if the marriage never happened in the eyes of the law.
What are the Grounds for a Civil Annulment
Contrary to what many people think, being married for only a short time is not grounds for annulment. The courts take annulment very seriously and as such they consider it for unusual circumstances such as bigamy, fraud, incest or being underage. Each state has it’s own set of rules governing length of the marriage, cohabitation and other factors that will all be considered as a judge decides to grant or not.
Are Alimony Payments Made After a Civil Annulment?
No. It’s as if the marriage did not exist so there are no alimony payments to either party. If there are children from the union, they will still need to be cared for, so child support payments may be required.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Get an Annulment?
Pretty much, yes. Only a court can grant an annulment so you’re going to need someone who can jump those legal hurtles and make this process as painless as possible.
Is There a Time Limit on Annulments?
Most states require that you file within two years of the marriage.
What is a Church Annulment?
When a man and woman wed in the eyes of the Lord, the Catholic church says it is forever. But the church also assumes that both parties entered into the covenant with good intentions. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and what starts as a hopeful, happy marriage often ends in divorce. The Catholic church, however, does not recognize divorce so in order for a parishioner to remarry, they must have their first marriage annulled by the church.
This is not a process to be taken lightly. It is a very complex and time consuming process that requires a great deal in the way of documentation and witnesses and the procedure could cost in the area of $500 dollars. If you’re in the process of starting a divorce, or even thinking about it, sit down and talk with your local priest, he’ll guide you through the process.
Does an Annulment Mean the Children of the Union are Illegitimate?
No, neither a civil nor a church annulment can alter the fact that any children born to you during the marriage are legitimate off spring of you and your spouse.