Divorce is never fun, but sometimes there is another option like annulment, which can make splitting up a little easier. If you are considering divorce or annulment, here’s what you should know about qualifying.
What is the Difference Between Divorce and Annulment?
First, it’s important to understand the difference between divorce and annulment. A divorce basically ends a legally valid marriage. However, an annulment decrees that the marriage is null and void and essentially never existed. Sometimes people prefer an annulment for religious reasons or to avoid the stigma that comes with divorce.
Qualifying for an Annulment
Unfortunately, you can’t just choose to have your marriage annulled. In order to qualify for an annulment in Wisconsin, you must meet the following requirements:
- Underage spouse. In Wisconsin, you must be 18 years of age to marry legally or 16 or 17 with the consent of the parents or guardian or under 16 with the consent of the court and the parents or legal guardian.
- Mentally impaired. If the spouse didn’t understand the marriage, was mentally impaired, or intoxicated.
- Forced or threatened. If the spouse was forced, coerced, or threatened into marrying.
- Fraud. If one of the parties lied or hid something essential to the marriage.
- Impotence. Inability to have sexual intercourse.
- Incest. If the spouses are first cousins or closer in relationship.
- Bigamy. One of the spouses has a living husband or wife at the time of the marriage.
- Recently divorced. The marriage took place within six months of one spouse’s divorce.
Although these requirements might seem cut and dried, there are circumstances that will apply before you can be sure you qualify for an annulment of your marriage. For instance, force or duress can only be claimed if it was present on the date of the marriage itself. Also, fraud can qualify only if the claim is that something essential to the marriage was hidden that would have prevented the marriage if both spouses had known.
In any event, it’s best to let a qualified legal team look over the details and help you determine the best way to move forward – whether it’s with an annulment or divorce.
Disclaimer: This Article Is Not Legal Advice.
Never rely on an article for legal advice as the law frequently changes, information may not be accurate, there may be exceptions to a rule, and reliance may be detrimental. Always consult one of our experienced attorneys for competent, current, and accurate legal advice.
Crooks, Low & Connell, S.C. Wisconsin Experienced Divorce Lawyers
Divorces can be difficult enough without the additional stress of trying to navigate the process alone. At Crooks, Low & Connell, S.C. we know that this isn’t an easy time. We have the experience and knowledge you need to have on your side throughout the divorce. If you are considering divorce or annulment or you are in the process of either, let us help. Call our offices in Wausau, WI for a consultation at (715) 842-2291 or complete our online contact form today.