Pennsylvania law allows for the annulment of a marriage under certain conditions. A Pennsylvania annulment lawyer can advise you as to whether you meet these conditions. Not all marriages can be annulled; only marriages that are void by law or that meet the grounds for voidable marriages under the above statute can qualify for annulment.
Divorce vs. Annulment
A divorce decree dissolves a marriage. It declares that the marriage is over. In contrast, an annulment essentially declares that the marriage never existed. It pronounces that the marriage is void.
Pennsylvania recognizes two forms of annulment: voidable marriages and void marriages. Voidable marriages require a court process to nullify, as well as valid grounds to substantiate the claim, which is discussed in the next section.
Void marriages are those that were performed under illegal pretenses and are not legally permitted. Void marriages are completely invalid and therefore require no court process to nullify them. Some of the grounds for void marriages include:
- the spouses are blood relatives;
- one of the spouses was married at the time of the marriage in question; or
- one spouse was mentally incompetent and therefore could not have consented to the marriage properly.
You Must Satisfy One of the Grounds for Annulment
Most couples seeking an annulment have what’s referred to as a voidable marriage. A voidable marriage is one that the Pennsylvania courts will consider annulling if one of the following conditions is present:
- the marriage consent was based on coercion or under duress;
- either of spouses were younger than the age of 16;
- either of the spouses were 16 or 17 years old and didn’t have parental consent;
- the marriage was performed while one or both spouses were intoxicated (If the couple seeks annulment based on the premise of having been influenced by drugs or alcohol, this must be brought to court with 60 days of the marriage in order to qualify.); and
- inability to consummate the marriage (unless impotence was known to the other party prior to the marriage).
Unfortunately, this comes directly from Pennsylvania law. If you do not meet one of these limited conditions, you would be required to obtain a divorce rather than an annulment. A Pennsylvania annulment lawyer can discuss this with you.
How do I get an annulment in Pennsylvania?
If factors are present in your marriage that qualify your marriage as voidable, then your first step will be to consult an annulment lawyer. In order to have your marriage successfully annulled, you and your attorney will have to:
- draw up the necessary documents;
- file them with the court;
- gather ample evidence to support your grounds for annulment; and
- present all the facts to the courts.
If you’re unsure of whether or not you qualify for an annulment or want to discuss your options for a marital dissolution, contact a family law attorney in your area.
Pennsylvania Counties Served
With three offices in Pennsylvania, we are close to you no matter where you are. Typically, our PA annulment lawyers service the following counties:
- Monroe County Annulment Attorney
- Carbon County Annulment Attorney
- Northampton County Annulment Attorney
- Lehigh County Annulment Attorney
If your county is not listed, call us. While these are the counties we typically serve, we’ve handled cases in other counties upon request.
Contact Our PA Annulment Lawyer
If you would like to talk to an attorney about your options for dissolution, we invite you to contact our annulment attorneys at ARM Lawyers. Our PA annulment attorneys are familiar with the challenges you face.
With three offices in Pennsylvania, we’re close to you no matter where you are. Call to schedule a consultation or reach out to your closest office: