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Can you get an annulment in Michigan?

| Apr 28, 2017 | Family Law |

A lot of people think that an annulment is a quick solution to a short-term marriage, but that isn’t quite the case. Annulments are actually often harder to secure than a divorce or dissolution.

While a divorce or dissolution brings a marriage to an end, an annulment is only granted if it can be shown that the marriage was never really valid in the first place — and the reasons that a marriage may be declared voidable vary somewhat from state to state.

Here are the reasons Michigan may be willing to grant you an annulment:

— You or your spouse weren’t old enough to marry. In Michigan, you can’t legally marry without parental consent unless you are aged 18 or older. The minimum age to marry with parental consent is 16.

— You were mentally incapacitated at the time. This could be due to something like a low IQ or insanity. For example, if you agreed to a marriage while in the middle of an acute psychotic episode, that could be grounds for an annulment.

— You are physically unable to consummate the marriage. It’s important to note that it isn’t an issue of whether or not the marriage was actually consummated — but whether there was even the ability to do so.

— You were forced into the marriage. For example, if you were threatened with physical harm in order to make you agree to an arranged marriage and physically prevented from seeking help, that’s a good reason to ask for an annulment.

— Your spouse committed fraud in order to get you to marry him or her. This can be a tricky thing to assess because the fraud has to be substantial — not just a mere misrepresentation. For example, you probably couldn’t get the court to give you an annulment because your spouse lied about his or her education or income. However, if your spouse married you while having actual knowledge that he or she was infertile, that could be material enough to warrant an annulment if you had made it clear that you expected the marriage to result in children.

It’s important to note that these are just broad overviews of each situation. There are additional complexities to each condition that should be addressed by an attorney. If you’re interested in an annulment instead of a divorce, an attorney can provide more information.

Source: Findlaw, “Annulments – Overview,” accessed April 26, 2017

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