What Is an Annulment and What Are the Benefits?
When a couple realizes their marriage is coming to an end, many spouses decide to separate for a period of time before filing for divorce. This has become a social norm and many couples do not even think about getting their marriage annulled. Not only does an annulment mark the end of a marriage, but it also states that the legal union never existed. Annulments are most commonly sought out for religious reasons. For instance, the Catholic church views divorce in a negative light thus requiring its members to obtain an annulment before they are allowed to remarry in the “eyes of the church”. Annulments may be most common for spiritual individuals; however, some decide an annulment is best based on the benefits it provides each former spouse. Continue reading to learn about the details and benefits of annulments.
Eligibility for an Annulment
A couple must meet the following requirements to qualify for an annulment:
- The marriage was forced on one or both of the spouses.
- One or both of the spouses were unable to make a clear decision because of the consumption of alcohol, drug use, or mental disability.
- One or both of the spouses were already married at the time of the wedding or the relationship was incestuous.
- The spouse(s) was underage at the time of the marriage.
- Either spouse was impotent at the time of the marriage.
- Information was withheld from either spouse such as children from a previous marriage, an unwillingness to have children, legal/criminal problems.
Benefits of an Annulment
There are various benefits of an annulment that extend past religious acceptance.
- Avoiding financial support: One of the typical requirements of a divorce is one spouse providing the other with financial support. This is often unavoidable, especially when one spouse works and the other does not. These payments can include child support, alimony, or spousal support. Those who decide to have their marriage annulled will no longer be required to help their former spouse financially since the marriage no longer exists in the eyes of the court.
- Debt is determined and divided: Most couples will accumulate some form of debt throughout their marriage. In the case of an annulment, this debt is divided equally between both parties. Any debt that was incurred before the marriage is given back to the spouse that accumulated it.
- Assets assignments: Property assets are typically split in half during divorce proceedings, but annulments are different. The property is given back to the party who originally purchased it.
Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney for Help
Whether a couple is filing for an annulment for religious reasons or for personal reasons, it is crucial that you seek out an attorney who is experienced in this particular area of family law. Divorce and annulments are two very different legal processes that should be dealt with as such. If you would like to get your marriage annulled, contact our St. Charles, Illinois family law attorneys at 630-584-5550 for assistance.