Annulment is an alternative to divorce in Michigan and many other states. It can be a difficult process in some cases, though, because there are specific laws that have to be followed. It's not possible to just have a marriage annulled because you and your spouse believe you made a mistake in getting married. You need to know the law when it comes to what reasons are acceptable for annulment and what are not, so you can make the decision as to whether to apply for that option or file for a divorce instead. Most people choose divorce, but in some cases it's because they did not realize they were eligible to have their marriage annulled.
To be eligible for an annulment in Michigan, you and/or your spouse must meet specific criteria. The best way to find out if you're eligible is to talk to an attorney who can help you. It's not just about whether you say you qualify, but whether you can prove it. If there is evidentiary proof available, you can have the marriage annulled. This will make it appear as though the marriage never actually took place, and it will be ruled as not having been a valid, legal union.
In order to receive an annulment, some of the requirements include not being old enough to get married, not being physically able to (generally assumed as not being able to have intercourse), being married to someone else at the same time, or being mentally incompetent at the time the marriage took place. If you or your spouse was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the marriage was based on fraud, a vital fact (like drug abuse or a criminal record) was concealed, or you're closely related by blood (typically more than 2nd cousins), you may also qualify for an annulment.
It's very important to have an attorney work through the process with you. It's not something you can handle yourself, and not something you want to try to push through the court by concealing the truth about your marriage. Trying to get an annulment takes time, but your lawyer can help you find the evidence you need that will be acceptable in court. If you cannot produce the proper evidence, you'll need to get a divorce instead. Your marriage will still be over, but you will have been divorced, instead of the "never married" status you would get with an annulment.
Another important concern with an annulment is you have a limited time to apply for one after your marriage takes place. Without a good lawyer you could stay in an invalid marriage for too long and miss out on your opportunity to have in annulled. You can avoid that by seeing an attorney right away in order to ensure you have as many options as possible. Only your attorney can decide if there's a case for an annulment. The sooner you make contact the sooner you'll know where you (and your marriage) stand.
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