Everything You Need to Know About Marriage Annulment

Everything You Need to Know About Marriage Annulment

Annulments are not a divorce and do not erase a spouse’s right to spousal support. However, they do cost more than a divorce. The following article will discuss some of the main differences between annulment of a marriage and divorce. In addition, we will explain what an annulment is and what it does not do. 

An annulment is a “declaration of nullity.”

An annulment is a legal process in which the court declares a marriage invalid or void. Null marriages are those in which the marriage lacked the legal requisites. The Family Code classifies these void marriages into four categories. They are void ab initio, void due to psychological incapacity, void due to public policy, and void until annulled.

In the Catholic church, annulments are formal declarations that marriage is invalid. An annulment also called a “declaration of nullity,” is an official declaration issued by a Catholic tribunal. It removes the presumption that marriage was valid and identified the conditions that rendered it invalid. While the declaration of nullity does not affect the legitimacy of children, it is a legal means to end a marriage.

A church declaration of nullity consists of a statement by a Catholic marriage tribunal that the marriage was void from the start. A church declaration of nullity does not establish guilt but simply that the marriage was invalid. A church declaration of nullity in the United States will have no civil effect. That said, parties to the nullity process are free to celebrate a new marriage in a church of their choice.

It is not a divorce.

An annulment can be a legal way out of a troubled marriage. An annulment can be obtained if either party lacks the legal capacity to marry. Sometimes, a spouse may be mentally ill, insane, or incapable of contracting a marriage. In such cases, a court annulment is a viable option. In some cases, the marriage can also be annulled if one of the partners was mentally incompetent at the time of the marriage.

Catholic Church: An annulment can be sought if either party does not wish to remain a married person after the divorce. The annulment consists of a hearing conducted by a diocesan tribunal to determine whether the marriage was an enduring and valid covenant. The tribunal will consider such factors as the lack of honesty and maturity of the spouses, among other things. The annulled party may remarry in the Catholic Church if they choose.

It does not erase a spouse’s right to spousal support.

Under current law, a marriage annulment does not wipe out a spouse’s right to spousal support. In addition to repealing the reference to divorce with the term “dissolution of marriage,” added definitions of adultery and recrimination. A court will likely consider a divorce or bigamy case in such a situation. In addition to voiding the marriage, an annulment will address other issues, such as child custody and support. A marriage annulment will not automatically erase a spouse’s right to spousal support.

It costs more than a divorce.

An annulment is similar to a divorce, except that it is less common, and the legal process can be lengthy and expensive. Divorces begin when both parties file for a divorce in court, whereas annulments are not as formal and start with the couple formally asking the court for the dissolution. On the other hand, an annulment can be as simple and inexpensive as a divorce if the couple can agree on the conditions. The process itself does not cost thousands of dollars, but the cost varies from court to court. 

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