Annulment: What It Is and How to Start the Process

Annul My Marriage Annulment: What It Is and How to Start the Process

What Is An Annulment and Are You Eligible for One?

Partners could consider options other than divorce when a marriage collapses, such as an annulment or legal separation. More than 875,000 annulments and divorces in the U.S, and less than 1% of them are annulments.

Were you married under pressure? Were you under the influence of drugs or alcohol, underaged, or mentally debilitated when married? Did your partner conceal a vital piece of information from you that would have prevented you from getting married, or did you enter a deceitful marriage or ''green card''?

If your marriage was void and legally null initially, DoNotPay could help you walk out without going through the cost and social stigma associated with a divorce.

What Is an Annulment?

There are two options for marriage separation: annulment and divorce. An annulment is a legal ruling which states that your marriage was invalid from the beginning. In other words, you and your spouse were not legally married according to the law.

Sometimes, an annulment is referred to as a statement that your marriage was null and void. But, even if the court strikes out your marriage, the records will remain documented.

According to the law, children are not ''illegitimate'' in the event of an annulment since paternity is already often based on that aspect.

Your relationship with your partner was still very genuine, even if your marriage was legally invalid. An annulment also doesn't take that relationship or the moments you spent together away from you.

Why You Should Consider an Annulment

Getting an annulment is much more severe and impossible for most marriages. But, if you're eligible, there're benefits associated with it:

Financial Benefits

Annulling an invalid marriage is often more economical than ending a marriage through divorce. Besides, suppose you want to escape the controversial and, most times, unjust dividing of property. In that case, an annulment could allow you to retain more of the assets you came with into the false marriage and even what you incurred during it.

Personal Benefits

If you had a negative relationship with your spouse, you could take comfort in knowing that the marriage was never valid after all. Alternately, suppose you still love your partner but merely can't remain in the union. In that case, an annulment could seem like less of an offending, painful end of your relationship than the usually ferocious agony of a divorce.

Religious/Social Benefits

Several religions and cultures regard divorce or separation as a hostile act. Knowing that it was, at least in agreement with civil law, invalid may alleviate the religious and social stigma of ending the marriage. Though a legal annulment doesn't automatically annul a union in a religious background, it is usually regarded by religious courts, such as the Catholic church, since some of their standards could overlap.

Grounds for Getting an Annulment

To get an annulment that legally dissolves your marriage, you must have proof. The grounds on which you can honestly get an annulment vary by state. Let's take a look at a few of the most common grounds:

  1. You were underage when married
  2. You were forced or coerced into the marriage
  3. Your spouse hid some crucial information from you that would have stopped you from getting married
  4. You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol or mentally unstable
  5. One of the partners is a bigamist, or they're both related by blood

One of the above conditions must be necessary and proven in court before granting you an annulment, making an annulment less common than a divorce. The court will declare your marriage invalid if considered invalid from a legal viewpoint. The annulment process isn't as complicated as a divorce, but it has its own set of conditions.

How To Get a Marriage Annulled?

Most times, you must officially ask for an annulment from a court, like you would for a divorce. Since annulments require a different and often higher level of proof, you'll need the guidance of a qualified lawyer. Both of you must present evidence of the grounds for annulment to enable the court to approve it.

Documents could include your marriage background details and reasons for annulment, including the terms you want to add to the court's decision. Upon appealing the annulment, you must complete the summons to inform your partner within 30 days of filing.

An undeniable proceeding must be reached, irrespective of whether the couples agreed to the summons or entered default holding. You and your spouse must attend the court hearing concerning your request. According to the annulment, you will get an official order if your appeal is well-founded and followed by proper documentation.

What Happens After an Annulment?

An annulled marriage rightfully places spouses back in their position before the union, and an annulment makes it look like both of them were never lawfully intertwined. In other words, an annulment returns them to their lives before marriage. Thus, both parties can keep their assets upon marriage.

The following are the effects of an annulment:

  • Alimony
  • Question of paternity
  • Putative spouse status
  • Division of properties

State laws determine whether to address property distribution or alimony in annulments. You can apply for both in many states, while others accept only one. On the other hand, some states don't permit courts to rule on either case.

Next Steps for Annulment if You Can’t Do It Yourself

An annulment petition can be denied if the petitioner doesn't meet the eligibility requirements. If that happens, you could still have another chance to request a reconsideration or appeal the decision within a short time frame. But, this requires the services of an expert family law attorney.

Most people can't afford an attorney because of low income. If that is the case, you may be entitled to free legal services.

Going through obtaining an annulment can be lengthy and frustrating, which is why DoNotPay is here to help. DoNotPay can lead you through your state's annulment laws to determine whether you are qualified to file for your marriage annulment.

How DoNotPay Can Help You Get an Annulment Instantly

Do you experience difficulty getting an annulment? Worry no more. DoNotPay can Write a Letter to Your Local Family Court if you're ready to file for an annulment. It can also provide You with a Handy Annulment Information Sheet if you're not yet prepared to appeal to annul your marriage but would like to weigh your options.

It only takes three steps:

  1. Search for Annulment on the DoNotPay website.


  2. Kick-off the process to see if your marriage is eligible for an annulment.


  3. Answer some specific questions about your marriage and see if your state law allows for an annulment.


DoNotPay Also Works Across All States

DoNotPay can help with annulments by each state:

TexasCaliforniaNew York
IllinoisNorth CarolinaOhio
GeorgiaVirginiaWashington State
ColoradoNew JerseyPennsylvania
South CarolinaMinnesota Alabama
LouisianaNew MexicoArkansas
South DakotaMississippiOklahoma
West VirginiaDelaware

What Else Can DoNotPay do?

Solving this problem is just one of many things DoNotPay can help you with. Below are other issues that DoNotPay can assist you with if you find yourself in such situations.

If you're finding it difficult to get an annulment, sign up today at DoNotPay and get the help you need!

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