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How can I get my marriage annulled?

Did you wake up one day and suddenly realize it was time to get a divorce? Probably not. Your decision to divorce no doubt came over a period of time, and you probably deliberated over it for a while before deciding to bring your marriage to a close. However, what if you could annul your marriage, which retroactively cancels your marriage by rendering it invalid -- as if you were never married in the first place?

In ancient times, when divorce wasn't an option, annulment was one of the few avenues available to end a marriage. It's still possible to annul a marriage, though in modern times it's relatively rare. This article will take a brief look at marriage annulment and the circumstances under which it's possible.

Different legal grounds exist under which a marriage can be annulled. These include:

-- Fraud or misrepresentation: Perhaps a spouse lied about something important, like his or her ability to procreate. Or, a spouse may have lied about his or her age, or claimed to be single, when in fact he or she was married.

-- Concealment: This is similar to fraud but it refers to omitted facts, rather than misrepresented facts. For example, perhaps a spouse didn't tell the other about a serious addiction to sex, alcohol or drugs. Or, a spouse may have concealed a previous felony conviction or time spent in jail, gang involvement, ongoing criminal actions, a serious disease or another health issue.

-- Refusal or inability to consummate the marriage: This refers to a spouse's refusal or inability to engage in sexual intercourse.

-- A misunderstanding: Sometimes spouses misunderstand each other about children. That could be a deal-breaker for someone who is certain that he or she wants to have kids.

As you can see, all of the above reasons for annulment generally refer to "deal-breakers." In other words, had the spouse involved known that the above was true, or would eventually be revealed, the information would have prevented the spouse from moving forward with a marriage. Proving the above in court might be sufficient for a judge to grant the annulment of a marriage contract. Spouses have a higher likelihood of success with their annulment requests if they have been married for a very short time.

Source: FindLaw, "FAQ Regarding Separation and Annulment Law," accessed March 03, 2017