Can a marriage be dissolved as if it never happened?
Yes, a marriage can be dissolved as if it never occurred and this is done through annulment. Annulment refers to the process by which a marriage is made void. Annulment invalidates a marriage as if it never happened. Usually annulment takes effect retroactively, although in some jurisdictions, the marriage is considered void only from the date of annulment. Annulment of marriage does not question the legitimacy of the children born out of wedlock.
Is a Catholic annulment legal?
Catholic annulment is a Church's canon law procedure by which a marriage is treated as invalidly solemnized. When an ecclesial tribunal declares the Catholic marriage null, it does not mean that the marriage is legally dissolved; but that the sacrament of marriage was not validly entered. For Catholic church annulment, a petition seeking nullity of marriage should be filed in the canon law church court. The church then makes a judicial finding that no valid marriage was created on the date of marriage. Church annulment allows parties to remarry in the church and enter into other sacraments. However, without a civil annulment marriage to another person is not legally possible.
What is a sham marriage and can it be annulled?
A sham marriage is a marriage entered into with deceptive intent. For example, one may enter into sham marriage for the purpose of obtaining the citizenship of another country. Hence, in the case of such a sham marriage annulment may be granted.
Can adultery be a cause for marriage annulment?
Generally, adultery cannot be considered a valid ground for annulment of marriage. This is based on the principle that what happens later in the marriage cannot determine the validity of the wedding. It can however be a ground for divorce. However, if the party seeking annulment is able to prove adultery during the time of marriage, it may be a valid ground for annulment.
Is annulment of marriage the same as divorce?
Annulment and divorce are not the same. Annulment refers to the process by which a marriage is made void. In annulment, a marriage is invalidated as if it never happened. Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. It concludes the legal relationship between a man and a woman and returns them to single status having capacity to remarry. Another difference between divorce and annulment is that, in divorce, the grounds arise after marriage; whereas in annulment, the grounds exist prior to marriage. In divorce, generally alimony is granted. However, alimony is not granted after issuance of the annulment decree unless the state statute provides otherwise.
What are the criteria/ grounds of annulment of marriage?
The reasons for annulment may vary from state to state. Some of the grounds for annulment of marriage are as follows:
- Either of the parties has a living spouse at the time of marriage;
- Either of the parties was under age and did not have consent of parents or court approval to marry;
- One of the parties was intoxicated or under undue influence at the time of marriage ceremony and was incapable of knowing the consequences of marriage;
- The marriage was a sham intended to deceive public officials or society;
- Impotency and incest; and the other party was unaware of impotency or incest during the time of marriage;
- The marriage has not been consummated;
- The marriage is prohibited by law in any other way.
Please note that the annulment forms may vary by jurisdiction.