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Understanding the concept of annulment

At its most basic, the institution of marriage is a legal contract between two individuals. As a result, certain principles of contract law at its broadest apply to marriage contracts. For example, when contracts of any kind are executed, they generally must be fair, legal and consented to by two parties who have the authority to enter into such contracts. If any of these broad principles is violated, it is possible that the contract will be deemed unenforceable by the courts.

When two individuals choose to marry, they do so at their own risk. If they later determine that the differences between them are irreconcilable, they may seek a divorce. However, if they were married under false pretenses or did not have the authority to enter into a marriage contract, they may be able to seek an annulment.

When a marriage is properly annulled, the law ultimately behaves as if the marriage never occurred. When a couple is divorced, the law recognizes that the marriage occurred and was ultimately dissolved. Couples seek annulments for various reasons. Among the most common reasons are fraud, misrepresentation, temporary insanity and factors like age or mental impairment which result in an individual being unable to legally enter into a marriage contract under a specific set of circumstances.

If you have questions about annulment, please do not hesitate to speak to an experienced family attorney. Annulments are often sought within a short time span after the marriage ceremony, so please do not delay in pursuing this course of action if you believe it may apply to you.

Source: Findlaw Law & Daily Life, “5 Potential Ways to Get an Annulment,” Daniel Taylor, Nov. 6, 2015

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