Obtaining an Annulment in Michigan

Ending a marriage can be stressful for everyone involved. While divorce is the most common way to end a marriage, some situations qualify for an annulment.

Here, an experienced family attorney answers a few common questions about the process for obtaining an annulment in Michigan.

What is an annulment in Michigan?

In Michigan, an annulment is a legal process that declares a marriage was never legally valid and the couple was never married. This differs from a divorce, in which the marriage legally exists, and a court order ends it. To be granted an annulment, you must qualify for one of the grounds for nullification.

What are the grounds for an annulment in Michigan?

Under Michigan law, several specific circumstances qualify for an annulment. These include the following:

  • Incapacity due to age: People under 16 are not legally allowed to marry in Michigan. If they are under 18, they must have a legal guardian or parent’s consent.
  • Fraud: One spouse withheld a significant issue before getting married, including a criminal history, an illness, or a child.
  • Consent given under duress: One spouse was forced into marriage under threat of violence.
  • Incapacity due to mental condition: One spouse cannot make decisions for oneself due to mental illness, stroke, brain injury, etc. However, if the spouse becomes mentally capable and the couple continues to live together, the marriage will become valid.
  • Bigamy: One or both parties were already married at the time of the marriage.
  • Kinship: Marriage is illegal between family members closer than first cousins, including step-family relations.
  • Incapacity due to physical condition: If a spouse was physically incapable due to defect or infirmity when they were married, the marriage can be annulled within two years of the marriage.

The Annulment Process

First, one or both spouses file a petition with the court. The spouse requesting the annulment will provide grounds for why the court should grant an annulment. The court will then hold a hearing and decide whether or not the spouse offered sufficient evidence to grant the annulment. If the court decides not to grant the annulment, they will shift the case to a divorce proceeding.

If the couple had any children, they would still be considered legitimate, and the court could issue a custody and support order. Like in a divorce proceeding, the judge can distribute property to each spouse.

Annulments are extremely difficult to obtain because you must prove the grounds for the dissolution. To prove the grounds, you must provide enough evidence to the court that your marriage falls under one of the above categories.

Talk to the experienced family law attorneys at JAD Law

No matter the type of divorce proceeding, you need an experienced family lawyer to advocate for you. JAD Law is here to help. Contact JAD Law today to schedule an appointment.

JAD Law serves several counties across Metro Detroit, Michigan, including Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties.