Divorce Lawyer Offers Advice on Annulments
When a married couple decide that enough is enough, their first thought may be to file for divorce and leave each others lives and begin new ones apart. However, there is another option to end their marriage in the form of an annulment. An annulment will essentially ‘void’ the marriage and treat it as if it has never happened, as opposed to the lengthy procedure of dividing assets, custody battles and other aspects of a divorce filing. If you feel as if you would like legal advice on annulments then contact a Sheffield divorce lawyer today to see if you would qualify for an annulment.
Now, an annulment may seem a relatively contemporary concept, with celebrities such as Britney Spears filing for them after ‘shotgun’ weddings in Las Vegas, yet annulments actually have a fairly long and interesting past, with royalty throughout history seeking formats to allow them to escape wedlock without resorting to divorce. Henry VIII went so far as to create the Church of England in order to allow him to escape the marital clutches of one of his many wives, (she was the lucky one, escaping with her head!) yet if the process of annulment had been available to him, he may not have needed to go to such great lengths.
Let us discuss exactly what differentiates annulments from divorce and how they are applicable to certain marriages. As mentioned previously, an annulment will cancel out a marriage rather than end it and divide its assets; for this to happen, the marriage will usually have to be in its early stages with no children or joint property to argue over. However, long-term marriages can be annulled, but it is simply less common because of the shared owner and guardianship of property and children etc. A Kansas family and divorce law article states that, “Generally, an annulment requires that at least one of the following reasons exists:
o Misrepresentation or fraud — for example, a spouse lied about the capacity to have children, falsely stated that she had reached the age of consent, or failed to say that she was still married to someone else.
o Concealment — for example, concealing an addiction to alcohol or drugs, conviction of a felony, children from a prior relationship, a sexually transmitted disease, or impotency.
o Refusal or inability to consummate the marriage — that is, refusal or inability of a spouse to have sexual intercourse with the other spouse.
o Misunderstanding — for example, one person wanted children and the other did not.
These are the grounds for civil annulments. Within the Roman Catholic Church, a couple may obtain a religious annulment after obtaining a civil divorce, so that one or both people may remarry, within the church or anywhere else, and have the second union recognised by the church.”
An annulment can end a marriage that was never right to begin with, without all the messy details of who owes what to whom; it can be a viable option for some couples, so if you think that your marriage would qualify for such an annulment, then seek legal advice from a Sheffield divorce lawyer.