Indianapolis, IN Annulment Lawyer
A marriage can be annulled, or voided, for many reasons. Much like a divorce, an annulment ends the legal union of two people. In fact, an annulment makes a marriage invalid from its inception. It is a retroactive legal procedure that states that a marriage never occurred. Marriages can be annulled as long as certain conditions apply. Fraud or misrepresentation can be grounds for an annulment as well as duress (both physical and mental), mental disability, and bigamy to name a few other reasons.
Annulment v. Divorce
It is important to note that an annulment is not the same thing as a divorce. These two terms are not interchangeable. An annulment says “there never was a marriage.” A divorce says “this marriage is over.”
In order to claim that a marriage never happened, there are several conditions that must be met in the state of Indiana. If the petitioner was under the age of 18 or mentally incompetent, the marriage may be able to be annulled. Fraud from the non-petitioning party can also allow for an annulment to take place. Misrepresentation can be grounds for an annulment. This includes behavior such as using a false name, already being married to someone else, or any other false claim.
Legal Annulment v. Religious Annulment
Many people confuse a legal annulment with a religious annulment. In Indiana a legal annulment is a court process which, if approved, states that a marriage never took place. It returns both parties to their pre-marriage condition and does not require a division of marital property. Each person leaves the union with the assets that they brought into it—as if the marriage never happened.
A religious annulment has nothing to do with the state court system. Most often discussed in the Catholic church, a religious annulment is a declaration that the sacrament of marriage was invalid. In order for a church to approve a religious annulment, it will often first require the parishioner to obtain either a legal annulment or a divorce granted by the court system. Religious annulments are a process that is conducted solely by the church or institution where the parishioner is a member. For more information regarding the process required to obtain a religious annulment, ask your local church or parish.
Indianapolis Family Law Attorney – Indiana Annulment
The process of obtaining an annulment in the state of Indiana can be quite complex. An experienced Indianapolis annulment lawyer can best advise you of your legal rights and options. To discuss whether an annulment or divorce is right for you, contact us. Our Indianapolis family law attorneys can discuss the Indiana annulment procedure and help you determine the best method for terminating your marriage.