While marriages are more commonly terminated by a dissolution of marriage (divorce), for some people, an annulment may be a more appropriate alternative. An annulment action will invalidate the contract making it as though the marriage never existed.
This distinction may appear inconsequential, but there are substantial legal-ramifications associated with both dissolutions and annulments. Annulments are only available in limited circumstances, so contact an attorney at the Zolman Law Firm in St. Louis today for a free consultation regarding your eligibility for an annulment.
The principle distinction between a dissolution of marriage and an annulment is that a dissolution of marriage is based on facts and circumstances that occurred during the marriage, whereas an annulment is based on facts and circumstances that occurred before the purported marriage.
Annulments are only available in limited situations, and those situations include:
- Marriages between people that are too closely related.
- Marriages in which one of the parties was of insufficient age at the time of the marriage.
- Marriages in which one party lacks necessary mental-capacity to enter into a marital contract.
- Marriages in which one spouse is already married at the time of the marriage.
- Marriages in which one spouse perpetrates a fraud on the other that pertains to an essential element of the marital relationship.
The benefits of an annulment relative to a dissolution of marriage are primarily financial. When dissolving a marriage, a court must endeavor to divide the spouses’ property equitably, whereas, when annulling a marriage, a court will attempt to restore each spouse to their respective financial conditions on the date of the purported marriage.
Additionally, while one spouse may be obliged to provide spousal support to the other spouse after a dissolution of marriage, because an annulment makes it as though the marriage never occurred, neither spouse is required to provide spousal support to the other following an annulment.
Interested in discussing your case with the attorneys at Zolman Law Firm in St. Louis? Call us at 314-846-6633 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free 30 minute consultation today!