An annulment is a court declaration of a marriage being void. It is a procedure for a court saying this marriage is a legal nullity, does not exist, and was never considered valid, as if it had never taken place. Annulments differ from a divorce or separation because a divorce is a court dissolving a legal and existing marital relationship.
There are several intricacies to keep in place when getting an annulment, and it can be complicated, so an experienced Virginia annulment attorney is essential in helping individuals who are seeking to have their marriage annulled in streamlining the process for them. A family law attorney can assist in ensuring you meet the legal standards for annulment and walking you through the process step by step.
Unique Aspects of Annulment
A dissolution of a marriage is defined as the breaking of the legal contract that binds two people together as spouses. What a person should expect in a divorce depends greatly on what issues there are relating to the dissolution of the marriage. For example, if the parties have minor children of the marriage, then they should expect some type of custody and child support resolution.
If parties have acquired assets during the marriage, then they should expect a resolution of how those assets are going to be divided. If the spouses have different incomes at the time the marriage is dissolved, then there may also be alimony to consider as part of the divorce.
In an annulment case, there is not going to be property divisions or spousal support because there has to be a valid marriage set in place prior that is being dissolved in order for the court to have authority to deal with property division or support. In a divorce, property division and spousal support are important aspects of what the court will address. But in an annulment, all that is done is the court making a determination that the marriage is null and void. A Virginia annulment attorney is helpful in understanding the differences between the types of dissolutions available.
Grounds for Annulling a Marriage
Marriages can be annulled for a number of reasons, although it is not that often that a true annulment case exists. An annulment can be granted to a party if they should, for example, find out after they are married that their spouse was previously married and never properly divorced, so therefore, they are legally committing bigamy.
Another reason that somebody can get an annulment is if their spouse was convicted of a felony prior to the marriage and did not disclose that to their spouse, or if a husband without the knowledge of the wife, fathered a child within 10 months of the wedding then they seek an annulment of their marriage.
Working With An Attorney
A Virginia annulment lawyer is important because it is common for parties to think they have a case for annulment when in fact they do not. First of all, that experienced attorney can tell a person whether or not their case is eligible to be annulled instead of being given a divorce. In addition, the legal process can be rather complicated, and so an annulment attorney in Virginia can assist a party in navigating the legal process.