An annulment of a marriage is different than a divorce. While a divorce legally ends a marriage, an annulment granted by the court means that your marriage was never legally valid and essentially did not exist. Getting an annulment is a lot more difficult than getting a divorce, and people can't choose to get an annulment just because they want one. An annulment is a complicated legal matter that can take some time to complete, if a person is eligible for one. If you are interested in seeking an annulment, continue reading to learn more about the process and what steps need to be taken:

Determine if You Meet the Legal Requirements for an Annulment

You can't seek an annulment just because you no longer want to be married. If order to be eligible for an annulment, you must meet your state's legal requirements. Each state has their own laws about annulments, but in most cases you will be eligible for an annulment if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your spouse is a blood relative.
  • You or your spouse are impotent and the marriage was not consummated.
  • You or your spouse were forced to get married.
  • You or your spouse were not old enough to legally marry at the time of the marriage.
  • You or your spouse were still legally married to another person at the time of the marriage.
  • You or your spouse were not mentally competent at the time of the marriage.

If you meet one or more of these eligibility requirements, you can proceed with filing for an annulment. In the event that none of these situations apply to your marriage, you will not be able to get an annulment, and divorce will be your only option if you want to end the marriage.

Hire an Attorney

Since an annulment is a complicated and complex legal process, it is always in your best interest to hire experienced marriage annulment attorneys. Your attorney will understand the process that must be followed and will know how to fill out all of the necessary forms that need to be filed with the court.

Attend a Hearing

Filing annulment papers with the court is not enough to secure an annulment. Before an annulment can be granted, you will be required to attend a hearing before a judge. During the hearing the judge will review your case and ask questions, if necessary. In the event that the judge approves your case, your marriage will be annulled. If the judge rejects your request, your attorney can make changes to the documents and re-file them with the court to request another hearing.