While a divorce legally ends a marriage between two people, an annulment erases all legal evidence of the marriage ever happening. However, not everyone can seek a marriage annulment.
If your marriage was invalid when you signed the legal documents, you could be able to get your marriage annulled.
Who Is Eligible for Annulment?
If you live in Massachusetts, you can legally pursue an annulment if:
- you and your spouse are closely related;
- one spouse was already married to someone else at the time of marriage;
- one spouse committed fraud to get the other to marry them;
- one spouse is infertile or impotent;
- one or both spouses is mentally incompetent;
- one spouse hid a contagious disease; or
- one or both spouses are underage.
For a marriage annulment to be successfully granted, you and your annulment attorney must prove one of the above factors. Massachusetts makes marriage annulment extremely difficult to obtain, so the reasoning must be strong.
Void vs. Voidable Marriages
In addition to the factors listed above, a couple must prove their marriage was either void to begin with or can be voidable. A void marriage is one that should not have existed to begin with. Marriages of this type are generally unions between blood relatives or polygamy. Annulment grounds for a void marriage are the easiest to prove.
A voidable marriage is not against the law, but it’s one you would not have entered had you been aware of certain facts originally kept hidden from you. Marriages of this nature are ones created under fraudulent terms, impotency issues, or if either spouse was underage at the time of the union.
When a judge grants an annulment, it is like the marriage never took place (in the eyes of the law). Each spouse is allowed to say they were never married with no chance of any legal ramifications.
In Massachusetts, even if a marriage is annulled a person can still be granted child custody, visitation, or support. Children of an annulled marriage are still considered legitimate unless the marriage was between blood relatives. Whether a child is legitimate or born out of wedlock, each parent has a responsibility to financially support their child.
Experienced Annulment Attorneys
Our attorneys understand that annulments can be emotionally charged and difficult. We will do everything we can to make the process quick and easy so you can move forward with your life.