Some people wish to separate and no longer continue on as a married couple, but they do not want to get an actual divorce. When this is the case, the couple often wonders if they can get an annulment. Annulments are available in Michigan, but only in limited situations. If you are thinking about leaving your spouse but do not want to go through the divorce process, below are some things to consider if you have been thinking about an annulment.
What is an Annulment?
An annulment is different from a divorce because it erases the marriage and makes it as though the union never happened. During an annulment, the courts will deem the marriage null and void, declaring that it was never legal in the first place.
Many people like the option of an annulment because they simply do not want to get a divorce, while for others, it is a better alternative to divorce for religious purposes. However, there is much more to annulments in Michigan than simply wanting one.
When can an Annulment be Granted in Michigan?
A judge will only grant an annulment in Michigan for a limited number of reasons. In order for a judge to decide to annul a marriage, he or she must find that the marriage was invalid in the first place. There are a few scenarios in which a marriage can be deemed invalid and a judge will grant an annulment. These include:
- The two parties are related: In Michigan, close relatives are prohibited from marrying each other. This includes first cousins and other close relatives.
- The couple is not of proper age: Individuals must be 18 or over to get married in Michigan. When minors are 16 or 17, they can get married with parental consent while minors under the age of 16 cannot marry at all.
- Duress: In order for a marriage to be valid in Michigan, both parties must enter into the agreement willingly. If one person was forced into the marriage, it could be declared invalid and annulled.
- The marriage involved fraud or deception: These scenarios differ from duress because they typically involve one party deceiving the other without forcing them to get married. For example, if one party did not tell the other that they were already married, that is a marriage based on fraud and deception.
When any of these scenarios apply, a judge will likely grant an annulment. When couples cannot get an annulment, they can still get a divorce.
Our Michigan Divorce Attorneys can Help You Dissolve Your Marriage
If you want to dissolve your marriage and you are considering an annulment or divorce, call our Clinton Township divorce attorneys today. At Iafrate & Salassa, we can recommend which process is right for you and guide you through it every step of the way. Call us today or contact us online to arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys and to learn more about how we can help you during this difficult time.