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Can You Get an Annulment Instead of a Divorce?

A common misconception is that you can get an annulment instead of a divorce. In most circumstances and states, annulment is really hard (if not impossible) to get and can cost thousands in legal fees.

Fast Facts About Annulment

Divorce ends your marriage while annulment makes it so it never existed. We receive thousands of annulment requests, but the truth is that in most circumstances and states, annulment is really hard (if not impossible) to get and can cost thousands in legal fees. So, before you go that route, it’s important to understand when an annulment can be granted and what the requirements are.
Most states make it very difficult to get an annulment. A few states, like Nevada, have circumstances where annulment is easier – but you have to meet residency requirements or have been married in the state, and within a certain timeframe.
Most states make annulment doable if you have a “void” marriage, meaning one that was never legally valid to begin with. (Think: you married a new spouse without finalizing your divorce from spouse. Or, you married as a child without the consent of your parents). Where annulment gets tricky is when you have a “voidable” marriage. This is when you are arguing that there are facts that prove that your marriage was not valid. (Think: “They married me for a green card.” “I married them because I was afraid for my life if I said no.”)
While the reasons can vary from state to state, in general, some of the reasons an annulment may be an option are:

  • The spouse seeking the annulment relied on this fraud or misrepresentation at the time of the marriage. (This is pretty hard to prove, by the way.)
  • A spouse couldn't consent to the marriage because of mental incapacity.
  • A spouse cannot consummate the marriage due to physical limitations, and the other spouse was unaware.
  • A spouse was under the age of consent and didn't have permission from parents, guardians, or a court to get married.
  • A spouse was coerced to marry by force or by threat of force.
  • There is bigamy or polygamy in the marriage (that is, one spouse is already legally married to another).
  • The marriage is incestuous (meaning, the spouses are in a close family relation to another).

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