Your Complete Guide to Petitioning for an Annulment in Maryland
Filing for divorce is an expensive, emotionally difficult process. Even worse, in certain communities, you may be socially shunned. Fortunately, you may qualify for an annulment in Maryland.
With that being said, not every marriage can be annulled. Therefore, in this guide, you will look into whether:
- You qualify for an annulment or a divorce
- How you can initiate your marriage annulment
- How DoNotPay simplifies the process.
Do I Qualify for an Annulment in Maryland?
You may qualify for an annulment in Maryland if:
- You were forced to marry your spouse under duress.
- Your spouse has a living spouse at the time of the marriage.
- You were defrauded into marriage.
- You were a minor at the time of marriage.
Keep in mind the above list is not comprehensive. That said, the list includes the most common grounds for annulment. Also, you should keep in mind that your marriage may not qualify for an annulment in some cases, even if one spouse was a minor. For instance, if one spouse was under the age of 18 at the time of marriage, you may still need a divorce if:
- The minor was 16 and had parental consent.
- The minor was 17 and had parental consent.
- The minor was 15 and with child and had parental consent.
As mentioned above, you can qualify if you entered into a voidable marriage, you may also apply for annulment if you entered into a void marriage (or a marriage that was never valid in the first place). Following are the statutes in Maryland concerning the annulment of marriage:
|State Code||2019 Maryland Code - Family Law, Title 2, Subtitle 2, Section 2-202|
|Legal Grounds for Annulment (Void Marriages)||
|Time Limits for Filing for Annulment||You can file for annulment immediately after marriage. Your request can be executed immediately as long as you can provide evidence to consider your union a void marriage (related familial degree) or a voidable marriage (such as coercion at the time of marriage, indiscretion, etc.) and thus qualified for annulment.
Please note that there are no time limits for filing for your annulment. A long separation (or even a legal separation) from your spouse does not automatically grant you the annulment of your marriage. In Maryland, you may only be granted an annulment if your union is considered a void or a voidable marriage (not because of the length of time or time limits).
How Do I Get an Annulment in MD?
You must take several steps to get an annulment in Maryland. The first step in the process is going to your local circuit court and filing for an annulment. From there, you will need to:
- Serve your spouse the annulment.
- Prove your case in front of a judge.
If you are filing for annulment in Maryland, you need to have lived in the state for one calendar year. This is the only time when a length of time has bearing.
Can I Get An Annulment If I Don't Know Where My Spouse Is?
Yes, it is possible to get a Maryland annulment without your spouse. You will need to make a good-faith attempt to locate your spouse. Then, you will need to publicly advertise the annulment complaint and give your spouse ample time to respond to the complaint.
If your spouse agrees to the terms of the annulment, the process will be relatively quick and easy. However, if your spouse decides that they are not pleased with the terms of the annulment, you may find yourself in a drawn-out legal battle.
How Much Does a Maryland Annulment Cost?
Filing for an annulment in Maryland costs only $80. The entire cost of the annulment is $165 if you go through the process without an attorney or $185 for an attorney to be by your side through the process.
Also, you should be aware that you must pay $5 for proof of the annulment. Make sure you don't lose this document; if you need a copy, you will have to pay $0.50 per page regardless of whether it is certified.
What Happens After an Annulment?
What happens after a Maryland annulment varies on a case-by-case basis. For instance, if you and your spouse have a child, the judge will rule based on the best possible outcome for the child, regardless of what you proposed to the court when you filed your annulment complaint.
For example, you may have asked the judge if you could raise your child and be paid child support. However, if your spouse is a fit parent with plenty of time to raise your child and you make more money than your spouse, the judge may decide that you must pay your spouse's child support and give up custody. In some cases, a ruling of joint custody may be made.
What Will Happen to Property or Debt Acquired During the Marriage?
If you and your spouse acquired property or debt during your marriage, it would be split evenly.
Use DoNotPay to Petition for an Annulment in Maryland
Getting an annulment in Maryland may seem simple. However, the process is incredibly complicated. Even filling out the paperwork to file for an annulment is confusing; it can also be very stressful if you and your spouse disagree on who should get child custody, alimony, and child support. Fortunately, DoNotPay can help you through the process in just three simple steps.
- Search for Annulment on the DoNotPay website.
- Kick off the process to see if your marriage is eligible for an annulment.
- Answer some specific questions about your marriage and see if your state law allows for an annulment.
That's all you have to do. You don't even have to leave the comfort of your own home.
If you don't qualify for an annulment and you're worried about the differences between the annulment and divorce processes, DoNotPay has you covered there, too. If you do have to file for divorce and need a copy of your divorce certificate, DoNotPay can get you a copy quickly and easily, regardless of what county your divorce occurred in.