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When can you seek an annulment rather than a divorce?


Under certain circumstances, a couple may be able to annul their marriage rather than pursue a divorce.

Getting a divorce in Augusta, or anywhere for that matter, can be a messy affair. For many couples, a divorce is the only option. However, some may be able to pursue an annulment instead. An annulment has the same end result, which is to dissolve a marriage but, if awarded, it makes it as if the couple was never married. This means all legal ties are severed and both parties are free to marry again. While many going through a divorce may wish to have their marriage annulled, not everyone qualifies for an annulment because the marriage has to be deemed legally void.

When married under false pretenses

If a lie played a big role in the marriage, the spouse who was hoodwinked may be able to file for an annulment. False pretenses may be linked with force in certain situations. According to Fox Business, fraud or concealment may include hiding a felony, drug addiction or another important piece of information. Of course, each case is different and only a judge can award an annulment.

When married under illegal circumstances

According to the Superior Court of Fulton County, a couple may be able to receive an annulment if the marriage took place illegally. There are two circumstances that automatically negate the legal validity of marriage-polygamy and incest. If, at the time of the marriage, one of the spouses is currently married to another living spouse, the marriage would be invalid. Similarly, if the couple are too closely related through either marriage or blood, the marriage may be invalid. An incestuous relationship may include the following:

  • Brother and sister
  • Stepbrother and -sister
  • Parent and child
  • Parent and stepchild
  • Uncle and niece
  • Aunt and nephew

Additionally, any marriage that occurs between a grandparent and grandchild will be considered incestuous and would be annulled by the courts.

Not after children

In the state of Georgia, the birth or upcoming birth of a child from the marriage is often enough to remove the chance of getting an annulment. This restriction may work for the benefit of both spouses because alimony and child support are often not awarded after an annulment. In other words, if someone wanted financial help to support a child, a divorce would have to be pursued instead. There are some rare situations where a person may still qualify for an annulment even if there are children from the marriage.

A married person in Georgia may qualify for an annulment if there is legal precedence to void the marriage. Talking with a knowledgeable attorney to learn more about both the annulment and divorce processes may be a good idea.