the smart law group
Annulment is very similar to the divorce process. However, annulments only apply to very specific situations under Michigan law. An annulment results in an order of the court that states that the marriage never legally existed. Some marriages are void (not legal) automatically no matter the circumstances, such as:
- One of the parties was already legally married to someone else at the time of marriage, i.e. bigamy;
- The parties are related by blood line, typically parent-child, siblings or first cousins;
- Both of the parties were under the age of legal consent (unless both parties lived together as spouses after both parties reached the age of consent);
- One of the parties was incompetent, i.e. not mentally capable of entering into a marriage (entering into a legal contract).
In other instances, annulments can be requested when the marriage is voidable, meaning that the marriage will be void with a proper request and supporting information, such as:
- One of the parties were under the age of legal consent (unless both parties lived together as spouses after both parties reached the age of consent);
- If the marriage was obtained by force;
- Physical incapacity, i.e. inability to have physical relations;
- If the marriage was obtained by fraud, which could include:
- Lying about one’s identity;
- Sole purpose of the marriage was to immigrate to the United States;
- Failing to tell their spouse that they cannot have children when the other spouse wants children.
Whether you are entitled to an annulments is very fact specific. In addition to considering an annulment versus a divorce, all of the ramifications must be considered. There could be ramifications regarding property division, child custody, spousal support, and even criminal charges. All of the ramifications of requesting an annulment must be discussed in detail to make sure that a smart decision is being made.