An annulment is a legal action that renders a marriage null and void. The result is as though the marriage never occurred. This avoids many of the issues surrounding a regular divorce like proving grounds, dividing property or providing spousal maintenance. However, if there are marital children, an annulment will be harder to obtain.
There are several legal reasons to seek an annulment such as when the spouses are close blood relatives, when one spouse suffers mental illness or insanity, if one spouse was married to someone else at the time of the marriage, if the marriage occurred under fraudulent circumstances such as one spouse withholding information regarding his or her HIV status or impotence.
Procedurally, an annulment differs from a divorce, even though both are processes for marriage dissolution. Also, a civil annulment should not be confused with a religious annulment, which may occur alongside a civil annulment but only addresses the ramifications of the marriage dissolution within a given religious community. From a legal standing, a religious annulment carries little or no influence.
The process and laws applicable to civil annulment will vary from state to state. However, the following outlines some of the common grounds for annulment in many states and explains the outcome of the process for each party involved.
Talk with an attorney to discuss under which grounds you can have your wedding annulled.