Can I Get an Annulment of My Marriage?
Yes, but only under limited circumstances. Annulment has nothing to do with the length of time of the marriage. Annulment is a proceeding to declare that a marriage was not valid at the time that it was performed and the party seeking the annulment is asking the court for a ruling that will erase the marriage. Once a judgment of annulment is entered, the marriage becomes non-existent as though it never happened. Some examples of invalid marriages are those where: the parties are so closely related that the law does not permit them to marry; parties marry at a time when one of the parties is already married to someone else (bigamy); a party is not of legal age to contract for marriage at the time of the ceremony; a party was incapable of consenting to marriage because they were declared by a court to be mentally incompetent before the marriage ceremony took place. The court can also annul a marriage that was obtained through fraud, if the misrepresentation was of a nature that prevented true consent to marry by the other party. Some examples are non-disclosure of sterility or impotency, a lengthy criminal record and homosexuality.
In an annulment situation, if the parties acquired property during the marriage, it will be divided equitably based on the contribution of each party. The award must be fair under all circumstances. However, spousal support may not be awarded. If children were born as a result of the marriage, the court has authority to award custody and to provide for the support of the children.