Divorce vs. Annulment in Jackson, Mississippi

While divorce is the most common way to end a marriage, in some cases, annulment may be another possibility. While both divorce and annulment are legal procedures that end a marriage, the legal consequences of each are quite different. With a divorce, the marriage is considered legally valid. It took place; couples will often have marital property in common to divide as well as assets or debts that they may need to split. With an annulment, the marriage is found to have not been valid in the first place. This means that the courts have determined that a marriage never took place. The consequences of an annulment is that there is no marital property, assets, or debts, because the couple was never married. While there may be records of the marriage, the marriage is legally considered not valid. When a couple gets an annulment, they don’t have to list “divorced” when filling out forms. There might be certain benefits in seeking an annulment if an annulment is possible in your case. Thinking of getting divorced or ending your marriage and have questions about whether an annulment is possible? Reach out to the divorce lawyers at Malouf & Malouf in Jackson, Mississippi today. When is an Annulment Possible in Jackson, Mississippi? The requirements and proof required with an annulment are more stringent than for divorce because you’ll need to prove to the court that the marriage was not valid in the first place. When is an annulment permitted? Here are some situations:
  • Underage Marriage. If you or your partner were younger than the age of consent (18) when you got married, you may be able to seek an annulment. However, if both parties are over 18 and live together, making a claim for annulment may be difficult, because both parties will have reached the age of consent, and the courts may subsequently consider the marriage valid.
  • If one party was already married to someone else, then a marriage may need to be annulled. A person can only be married to one person at a time. How might a person be married to two people at once? This can happen if there was a clerical error with a divorce filing or if a person is divorced in another country, but local courts don’t recognize the divorce.
  • If your partner lied to you before you were married—for example, by lying about debt, having children, a prior marriage, legal trouble, incarceration, or other major issues—you might be entitled to seek an annulment. If your partner didn’t tell you that he or she was incapable of having children or failed to tell you about a disease or illness he or she had before you were married, you may also be able to seek an annulment.
  • You’re Related. This is a rare one, but sometimes individuals find out that they are related after they are married. If this is true, you may be able to seek an annulment.
  • Drunk or Drugged When You Got Married. You went to Vegas. You had a wild night. You wake up in the morning married. It happens. If you can prove that you were so inebriated that you were unable to make rational decisions or understand the contract into which you were entering, you may be able to seek an annulment.
  • Mental Incapacity. Sometimes individuals suffer from mental illnesses that can result in their losing touch with reality. Some individuals enter psychosis or manic states where they make decisions they otherwise wouldn’t have made were they well. If you were mentally incapable of understanding the marriage contract when you entered into the marriage, you may be able to seek an annulment.
These are just some circumstances where an annulment can be sought. But just because you can seek an annulment, doesn’t always mean you should. When should an annulment be sought? Malouf & Malouf are divorce attorneys in Jackson, Mississippi who can review your case, your situation, and help you understand what the best course of action forward might be. Should I Seek An Annulment in Jackson, Mississippi? With an annulment, the courts recognize no shared assets and no shared debts. Basically, with an annulment, there is no marital property to divide, and alimony cannot be sought. If you have children, however, you’ll still need a parenting plan and still can seek child support. If you have been married for a while, and qualify for an annulment, you may still choose to file for divorce because divorce may provide you with additional financial protections. However, if you want to protect your assets from a marriage entered into fraudulently or under false pretenses, an annulment may be your best option. Have questions about what steps you should take next to end your marriage? Reach out to Malouf & Malouf, divorce lawyers in Jackson, Mississippi today. Or connect with USAttorneys.com who can match you with an attorney at Malouf & Malouf, PLLC.
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