As anyone who keeps up on their gossip magazines likely knows, Kris Humphries has repeatedly demanded that Kim Kardashian, his wife of only a few months, agree to an annulment rather than proceed with a divorce. Though Humphries insists the marriage should be wiped away as if it never took place, Ms. Kardashian says that she won’t go along with the idea given that her soon-to-be ex is basing the annulment on fraud, something she denies ever engaging in.
Though many people have likely heard of annulments (Britney Spears got one several years back with her first husband, Jason Alexander), they may not understand what they are or how you go about getting one in Ohio. First of all, there’s no doubt that in Ohio divorce is the most common way to dissolve a marriage. That being said, it’s not the only way.
An annulment ends a marriage by saying that it never should have happened in the first place. Rather than simply calling it quits, an annulment means that the marriage was invalid and is treated by the law as if it never happened. Another difference between divorce and an annulment is that divorce comes with certain legal rights, for instance, a right to a division of marital assets and possibly spousal support. No such luck with an annulment.
Though most people will not qualify for annulment, if you fall into one of six categories you might be able to pursue a different route to ending your marriage. The first situation where annulment is allowed is in the case of underage marriage. Bigamy, lack of mental and force are other justifications. Force, also known as duress, applies in cases of true shotgun marriages where one party was forced into saying “I do.” Failure to consummate the marriage is another basis for annulment, though if this or duress is the basis you will use to seek an annulment, you must file within two years of marriage or you miss your chance.
The final basis for an annulment, and the one that’s at issue in the Humphries/Kardashian debacle, is fraud. This means that if a marriage took place under fraudulent terms it can be annulled. An example of such fraud would be if a woman were pregnant with another man’s child, but told her future husband that the baby was his.
If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce and have questions about your rights and options, contact an experienced Ohio family law attorney who can help guide you through the difficult process. Count on the expertise of Twinsburg family law attorney Carol L. Gasper.
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