Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Annulment in Indiana

Let me explain a few things about annulment in Indiana:

It is certainly not a substitute for dissolution of marriage.

Annulment differs greatly from divorce. Annulment does not dissolve the marriage. Annulment means there never was a marriage.

Annulment has very specific grounds to prove. One cannot just appear before the judge and say that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The grounds for annulment divide into two broad categories.

The first category requires that the petitioner was under 18 years or was mentally incompetent to marry. If the potential client was past 18 years of age when married or appears mentally competent, that leaves the second category of annulment cases.

The second category requires fraud on the part of the non-petitioning party. That fraud must have lead to the petitioner marrying the fraudster. If that were not enough of a difficulty, the statute states that the petitioner living with the spouse after discovering the fraud is an affirmative defense for the respondent.

If you can get past these hurdles, the procedure follows those of divorces. Annulment is another narrow type of legal action. Maybe even more narrow than legal separation.

It has been a while since I had a divorce client inquiring about annulment. Used to be, annulment would come up about every eighteen months or so. I was always curious about the interest in annulments. I never got a good answer for the interest in annulment. When I asked, no religious reasons were offered. I got a vague impression that someone told them that it might be easier or more palatable than a divorce. Some times I was left wondering if someone had watched The Wives of Henry the Eighth one too many times. When I explained annulments, their interest withered.

15 comments:

Erica said...

Thank you for your post. I have already filed for divorce - is it too late to request the court grant an annulment instead? I do have religious reasons and I believe sufficient grounds. BTW: I live in Elkhart County, IN.

Erica said...

Thank you for your post. I have already filed for divorce (no children). Is it too late to request the court grant an annulment instead? I have religious reasons and believe I have sufficient grounds. BTW: I live in Elkhart County, IN.

Sam Hasler said...

I am curious as to your religious reasons. I suppose you could dismiss your divorce petition and refile as an annulment.

Anonymous said...

I thought annulment was also a way to dissolve the marriage if it fell apart quickly? Or if adultery was commited shortly after the marriage?

Sam Hasler said...

No, no, no. Annulment is anything but a simple process. If you do see this, please let me know where you got this idea. I am genuinely curious why people think what they do about annulment and where they get these ideas.

n2gymgal said...

I am a mom of 6, married a man who lives in Indiana who was to move to Dallas to be with us but has yet to make any arrangements to do so. I need to know if this would be grounds for an annulment. How hard is this to do and is it affordable? I will not live in one state while he lives in another. We just married on June 11, 2009. I would appreicate a reply, thank you.

n2gymgal said...

I am a mom of 6, married a man who lives in Indiana who was to move to Dallas to be with us but has yet to make any arrangements to do so. I need to know if this would be grounds for an annulment. How hard is this to do and is it affordable? I will not live in one state while he lives in another. We just married on June 11, 2009. I would appreicate a reply, thank you.

Sam Hasler said...

I have this at the top of the page: "Please understand that this blog is not intended as legal advice for your particular case. Nothing about this blog makes me your lawyer."

I can suggest that you look for the Annulment FAQ and read a bit more of what I have written on annulments: http://haslerlaw2.blogspot.com/search/label/annulment

Angela said...

I have been divorced for over 5 years from a marriage that lasted less than that. In the 1st year I filed for a divorce but it didn't become final until the 2nd year. He had problems of a sexual nature that did not include me. Can I still get an annulment even though we are legally divorced?

Sam Hasler said...

Angela, the answer is no.

lyrical said...

I am looking to get a annulment for a same sex union done in iowa. I currently live in Indianapolis Indiana. Any advice on the steps to take. Due to adultery

Sam Hasler said...

lyrical, even if I could answer specific legal questions on this blog (see the disclaimer), you have an Iowa issue and I do not practice law in Iowa. That said, you are on the cutting edge of family law.

indygirl31 said...

my husband and i had a very rocky courtship. he was very sneaky and always lying and doing things behind my back. in the spring, he convinced me he wanted to be with me and to go ahead and marry him. we did in july. i found out about a month later he is actually gay and is using the marriage to cover up his lifestyle because he is in the military. i have proof he has had a gay lifestyle for over a year. does anyone know if this would count as fraud or if i should just go through a divorce process.

indyflik said...

Sam,

I believe I fall under the fraud category, I married a woman from Israel, and the next day she left town with all of the wedding papers. Who do I need to contact to get an anullment? Where do I start?

Sam Hasler said...

indyflik - only thing for you to do is get a lawyer