Understanding the Annulment of a Marriage

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsThere are some people who feel that annulling their marriage is a good alternative of divorcing their spouse. While a civil annulment is regarded as legal, an annulment done through a Catholic church is religious in nature and not recognized by civil courts.

What is marriage annulment?

It is process wherein a marriage is declared to be null and void from the start. A marriage annulment is typically granted for any one of the reasons mentioned below:

  • Both spouses or any one of them was given a threatening to go through the process of getting married.
  • The partners are related by blood, which should have prohibited the marriage in the very beginning.
  • A spouse is not legally eligible for marriage since he or she was already married or was underage in a state where their marriage took place.
  • Mental capacity of one of the spouse diminished due to consumption of certain toxins like alcohol or drug abuse, or illness.
  • Concealment of crucial information or undisclosed details i.e. fraud was committed by either one or both the spouses while agreeing to get married.

These above conditions may vary based on the state where the spouses reside. There could be some states that have laid down time limits to file for an annulment.  You can get in touch with a good lawyer in your locality to learn about the exact legalities involved in the process.

Annulment through a Catholic Church

A Catholic Church may annul the marriage if it learns the said marriage was not conducted with proper intentions. The Catholic Church opines that there are two key points, which should be upheld when the marriage vows were exchanged:

  • There is an intention to be faithful to the spouse all through the marriage.
  • Physical ability and the necessary willingness to procreate.

Other scenarios like psychological condition, mental illness, or extreme immaturity can also be taken into account while the church makes a decision on if the marriage is valid or not. The concerned couple must express their desire of getting their marriage annulled to the priest.

Annulment just deals with the intention on the marriage day when the couple exchanges their vows. Its purpose is not to end a marriage and rather signifying that the marriage did not exist at all from the very beginning. This is the fundamental difference between a divorce and an annulment. The former acknowledges that a marriage did take place and ends it subsequently.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation