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Should I seek an annulment instead of a divorce?

When you are considering a divorce, you might wish the marriage never occurred in the first place. This is a completely understandable feeling, although you might think it is impossible and unreasonable. However, you may not realize that in some cases, it may be possible for you and other Mississippi residents to dissolve a marriage as if it had never existed.

This is known as an annulment. This legal process treats the marriage as null and void, and after its completion, there is no record of your marriage having existed. You should understand that courts grant annulments only in limited circumstances, such as the following:

  • Fraud – Your husband never told you about something while you were dating that would have made you reconsider marrying him, such as having prior charges of domestic violence or being deeply in debt.
  • Bigamy – You find out after you are married that your husband is still legally married to at least one other woman.
  • Force – You felt threatened, pressured or coerced into the marriage.
  • No cohabitation – You and your husband never lived together or consummated your marriage.

There are other reasons to seek an annulment, such as incest, impotency or pregnancy without the other spouse’s knowledge, one or both spouses being underage or one or both being unable to knowledgeably consent to the marriage. Why would you want to get an annulment instead of a divorce? Traditionally, annulments were better for those whose religions discouraged or did not allow divorce, and this is still sometimes the case. You might want to avoid the stigma of saying you are divorced, especially if your partner deceived you during the marriage. If you own a business and can gain an annulment, this may protect your business assets from being divided between you and your spouse.

The circumstances surrounding an annulment are complex, which is why it is essential to speak with a family law attorney if you are considering this option.

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