If your marriage is legally invalid for some reason, you don’t necessarily need to divorce, because you might instead be entitled to annul your marriage. Needle | Cuda in Westport can answer all your questions about annulments in Connecticut, determine if you qualify for one and, if so, represent you in a proceeding to invalidate the unlawful marriage.
An annulment declares a marriage null and void. As a result, the law treats it as though it never existed, rather than simply ended. Although some religions may annul marriages, only civil annulments — those decided by state courts — have any legal effect. We can explain annulments and their effects to you in more detail.
Connecticut law recognizes several grounds for annulling a marriage, such as:
We can determine if the facts in your case support a petition for annulment and prepare the necessary documents if they do.
Unlike a divorce, which terminates a marriage, an annulment puts the parties in the legal position as if they were never married. However, Connecticut will still consider your children to be products of the marriage, so the father will not need to re-establish legal paternity. Moreover, the court will make decisions concerning child custody and support using the same “best interests” standard as in cases involving divorcing parents. The process of annulment begins when the plaintiff files a complaint for annulment, explaining why the marriage is void or voidable. Someone must show by clear and convincing evidence that grounds for annulment exist, a higher standard than what is required to dissolve a valid marriage through divorce.
Many people presume that an annulment is an option for people who wish to end their marriage shortly after the wedding. This is not true. Spouses who break up on their honeymoon but were legally married must obtain a divorce in Connecticut to end their marriage. Conversely, an annulment can be granted after decades of married life together if it is discovered that the union was unlawful from the start for some reason.
Even though an annulment voids the existence of a legal marriage, assets accumulated by the parties during the period they were together are subject to distribution as they go their separate ways. If no settlement is reached, the court must equitably divide the property and debts of the couple, as in a divorce.
If you considering an annulment in Fairfield County or somewhere else in Connecticut, Needle | Cuda in Westport can advise you regarding eligibility and the necessary legal procedure. To make an appointment for a consultation, please call 203-557-9500 or contact us online.