Forward Thinking Family Law Since 1994

Annulments

An annulment is similar to obtaining a divorce, although there is no mandatory waiting period. Annulment is possible when the parties were ineligible to be married (void marriage) or the information available to one party induced them to marry, and if they had all information, they would not have married (voidable).

Annulments are important in cultures where being divorced carries a significant social stigma.

Void marriage

  • The parties are closely related to each other by blood. In general, people who are first cousins or more closely related cannot marry, in Michigan.
  • One or both parties were incompetent and did not understand the legal significance of being married.
  • One or both of the parties were married to someone else at the time of the marriage.
  • Two people under age 16 (in Michigan) marry, but do not live together afterwards.

Voidable marriage

  • One or both parties were not old enough to contract for a marriage. In Michigan, a person must 18 years or older to legally contract for marriage.
  • Persons who are over age 16 but under age 18 may marry with the written consent of one parent or legal guardian.
  • Duress – being forced to marry.
  • Fraud, which must relate to an essential element of the marriage, for example:
    • The purpose was to immigrate to the United States
    • Falsely claiming that a man was the father of a woman’s child.
    • Failing to tell the spouse that they cannot have children when the other spouse wants children.
    • Unwillingness of one spouse to have sexual intercourse.
    • One party was incapacitated by alcohol or drugs to the extent that their free will was destroyed.
    • Did not disclose that one party was a felon.

Once you find out that your spouse was ineligible to marry, you cannot live together after that date.

Whether or not you are eligible for an annulment is very fact-specific. Schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.

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