Annulment vs. Divorce

There is a difference between a divorce and an annulment, so it's important to know the facts about each and what might make your situation applicable. Typically, when considering an annulment the goal is to have your marriage completely eradicated from historical records, while a divorce is concrete and will be documented for life. Certain circumstances do have to be met for an annulment to be considered, so it's important to know the facts, the parameters, and what makes your situation unique. It's recommended to hire an experienced attorney when confronting such matters.

When Are Annulments Granted?

While they are not common in Georgia, annulments can be granted under specific circumstances. An annulment is used to end a marriage that, in the state's eyes, is invalid, compared to a divorce that ends what is considered to be legally a “real” marriage. As it involves the court taking a drastic stance in issuing a legal decree stating the marriage was void from its inception, annulments are generally granted only in unusual cases.

Procedures for Getting An Annulment In Georgia

Under guidelines established by the Georgia courts, the process of having a marriage annulled involves many of the same procedures involved in a divorce. A petition is filed with the court naming both spouses, and they are required to meet jurisdiction requirements by residing for a period of six months or more in Georgia. While there is no requirement concerning how long or short a period of time a marriage had to have lasted before requesting an annulment, this could come into play if one of the parties requests spousal support.

Requirements for An Annulment in Georgia

In addition to the amount of time it takes for an annulment to be granted, the requirements for getting an annulment are dramatically different than those for couples seeking a divorce. The terms under which one can obtain an annulment are listed below.

  • The two spouses are related
  • At least one person in the marriage did not have the mental ability to enter into the marriage
  • One spouse was forced into the marriage
  • One party was fraudulently misled into the marriage
  • One party was already married to another individual when entering into the marriage
  • One or both parties were under the age of 15 when the marriage occurred

Can My Marriage Be Annulled If My Spouse and I Had Children?

The point of an annulment is to return each individual to the condition they were in before the marriage as if it had never occurred. The Georgia court advises that one point to keep in mind is that even if all the conditions above exist if a child was conceived during the marriage then an annulment is a much more difficult option to consider. While it is not impossible, you will need an experienced divorce attorney with knowledge and practice in Georgia annulment laws to determine if your case qualifies.

Our Georgia Annulment Attorney Is Here To Help

If you are considering requesting an annulment, call an experienced Georgia family law attorney to help you. At Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor, we understand the sensitive issues that can arise in these situations, and provide the compassionate, professional legal service you deserve. With offices located in Alpharetta, Buckhead, Fayetteville, Johns Creek, Gainesville, Canton, and Marietta, contact us today to request a consultation.