Call Us Today
(770) 993-5317

Annulment

FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS HELPING RESIDENTS OF ATLANTA

Many people automatically think of divorce when they think of ending a marriage. However, although it is not as common as divorce, an annulment may be more appropriate in some circumstances. Technically, it does not dissolve a marriage. Instead, it is a declaration that a marriage never existed in the first place, legally establishing that the marriage itself was invalid from its inception. If you are interested in this option, the family law lawyers at the Law Offices of Thomas C. Rowsey can help you pursue an annulment in the Atlanta area.

THE PROCESS OF SEEKING A CIVIL ANNULMENT

The term “annulment” can be used in two contexts: religious and civil. Both types of annulment are declarations that a marriage is invalid. However, a religious annulment can only be granted by a church or clergy member, and the grounds for a religious annulment are defined by the particular church involved.

A civil annulment, however, is sought under state law. In order to pursue it successfully, you will have to prove that you have legally valid grounds for it, such as if:

  • Either or both parties were mentally incompetent to consent to marriage at the time of the marriage ceremony;
  • Either or both parties were under 18 at the time of the ceremony, and the underage party or parties did not have their parents’ or legal guardian’s consent;
  • Either or both parties underwent the marriage ceremony as a result of fraud or coercion;
  • The parties are of the same sex;
  • One or both of the parties are or were legally married to another person at the time of the marriage; or
  • The parties are closely related by blood or marriage.

If any of these grounds exist, it may be possible to obtain an annulment. However, there are cases in which a court will still not grant an annulment even under these circumstances. For example, if the couple becomes pregnant or if they already have children, an annulment will not be granted. Instead, the couple will have to obtain a divorce. Or, if one of the parties was induced to marry by fraud or coercion but continued to live in a married state after learning of the fraud or when the coercion was removed, the marriage may be considered “ratified” by that party’s subsequent conduct and therefore deemed valid.

To file for annulment, only one of the parties must seek the annulment. The decision does not have to be mutual. If the grounds for annulment are that one of the parties is underage, the parent (or, under Georgia law, the “next friend”) of the underage party can also petition for the annulment.

Since an annulment amounts to a declaration that the marriage is void, the process is somewhat different from divorce. However, depending upon the facts of the case, a court may still allocate the division of assets and debts in an annulment case as it would in divorce proceedings. Alimony (spousal support) is not available.

DISCUSS YOUR OPTIONS WITH AN ATLANTA LAWYER WHEN DISSOLVING A MARRIAGE

If you believe that you should pursue an annulment, it is advisable to consult an experienced family law attorney prior to filing your petition. A legal advisor can tell you if annulment is the appropriate remedy for your situation and explain further the legal ramifications of seeking and obtaining it. The divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas C. Rowsey can assist Atlanta residents and others with their efforts to satisfy the procedural and legal requirements. For a free consultation, you can reach us at (770) 993-5317 or through our online form. We proudly serve clients throughout Cobb, DeKalb, and Fulton Counties, including in Marietta, Sandy Springs, and Alpharetta.

Thomas Rowsey, Attorneys at Law

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 6 reviews

GAAW Wright

Tom has been our attorney for many years. He has been with us through thick and thin. He has successfully handled all our queries and cases with patience and understanding. We highly recommend Tom!

Rusty Sendabrick

We had a personal legal issue and were referred to Mr. Rowsey by our business attorney in Alpharetta. Mr. Rowsey and his team were professional and efficient in handling the issue and we are pleased with their efforts. We recommend Mr. Rowsey and would utilize his services again if needs were to arise.

Chris Smith

Tom did an excellent job setting up my LLC for my new business tecently. I was in a aituation where I needed the LLC formed quickky and Tom and his team were able to work on a very short deadline. Highly recommended!

David O'Reilly

My family and I moved to Roswell from Chicago over ten years ago. At that time, we were referred to Tom to assist us with some of our legal needs. Since then he has become a trusted friend we consider to be our family attorney. The comfort in being able to speak candidly with him and know that he understands our concerns is invaluable. Tom is a man of integrity, vast experience (more than 25 years), who has an exceptional knowledge of the law. Impeccable ethics and an unparalleled work ethic make him an outstanding attorney who is capable, though, and diligent. I recommend him highly to anyone in need of sound legal counsel.

Corey Rennolds

At all times for the duration of my case, Tom demonstrated professionalism, confidence, and honesty. At no point was I pressured to make any one decision over another, but Tom did his best to inform me about the consequences and benefits of all of my options. If he did not know some specific detail regarding my case, he made the effort to find out. Tom instantly exudes trustworthiness and was always in steady contact. I would recommend his services to anyone.

Justina Allen

I met Tom over 10 years ago after settling in Roswell with my family. I have learned over the years that Tom is a man of high integrity, genuine and extremely knowledgeable in his field. Along with being honest, he is a straight shooter and will let you know where you stand. He will provide you with personal attention you don’t get at bigger firms and will go the extra mile. As legal matters can be frightening to deal with, Tom will guide you through the process and get you the results you need. You couldn’t ask for a better person to be fighting for you.