What is an annulment and does my marriage qualify? Annulments and divorces are similar in that they both make a determination about marital status. The one major difference between a divorce and an annulment is that an annulment voids your marriage while a divorce terminates your marriage. An annulment is legally declaring that the marriage never existed. This means that for the purposes of insurance, inheritance, and other legal considerations, the marriage never took place.
Although an annulment might seem preferable to a divorce in Anniston (or wherever you live), there are strict rules for getting an annulment in Alabama. Annulments are not meant to be used where the marriage was legal and appropriate, despite how bad things may have been. Instead, annulments are meant to be used when there are grounds to declare that the marriage was not legal and valid from the beginning. In an uncontested, or online divorce in Madison County, the grounds are simply incompatibility. However, to get an annulment the grounds have to be proven by evidence. Below, we have listed the common grounds for an annulment in Alabama.
Bigamy: In the state of Alabama, it is illegal to be married to multiple people at one at a time. If one party was already married to another person at the time the marriage began, the marriage may be annulled.
Coercion: A marriage is a legal contract that must be entered into voluntarily and with a sound mind. If one spouse is forced to enter the marriage based on threats or coercion, then the marriage may be annulled in Alabama.
Concealment of Disease: In the state of Alabama, a marriage may be annulled if one party knowingly entered the marriage with an incurable sexually transmitted infection and concealed that fact from their spouse.
Fraudulent Relationship: If one spouse fraudulently conceals some fact that is considered central to the marriage, the marriage may be eligible for annulment. Grounds for an annulment based on fraud include but are not limited to: one party conceals that they are pregnant by someone other than their intended spouse; one party reveals for the first time after the marriage that they plan on remaining celibate for the rest of their life; or if after entering into a marriage, one party reveals that they only got married to secure citizenship.
Inability to Consummate the Marriage: If either spouse is permanently impotent or is unable to consummate the marriage, this may be grounds for an annulment in Alabama. Medical evidence may be required to prove an inability to consummate the marriage.
Incestuous Marriage: If it is discovered that the parties are blood relatives within a specific statutory decree of relationship, then the marriage is against public policy and may be annulled in Alabama. There may be other considerations involved with something like this and it is always recommended to seek an experienced divorce attorney in Alabaster, or wherever you live, before filing on your own.
Mental Capacity: If one party of the marriage is deemed mentally incapable of understanding what it means to consent to marriage, the marriage may be eligible for annulment in Alabama.
Underage Marriage: If either spouse is under the age of 16 years old at the time of the marriage, this party may file for an annulment in Alabama as children do not have the capability to consent to marriage.
If you have questions about annulment and whether you and your spouse qualify for one, set up a consultation with our Birmingham divorce attorneys today so that we can help you determine your next steps.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!