While the requirements for divorce in Maryland are relatively straightforward, things can be more complicated when you are seeking an annulment instead. How can you determine whether or not you are eligible for an annulment in Maryland? Here is what every couple looking to separate needs to know.
Annulment vs. Divorce
Annulments are different from divorces, as a divorce will end a marriage, but an annulment decides that a valid marriage was never established in the first place. Annulments can be preferable to divorces for a number of reasons, including religious or social reasons, if you are eligible for an annulment.
Are You Eligible for an Annulment?
Maryland has strict requirements for what marriages are eligible for an annulment. The grounds for an annulment require that one or more of the situations below apply to your marriage:
One spouse coerced the other to be married
One spouse is mentally incapacitated and incapable of getting married
One spouse defrauded the other to convince them to marry
One spouse had another living spouse at the time of the marriage
The spouses are more closely related than first cousins
One spouse is under 18 (unless that spouse had parental consent)
Beyond those requirements, some have additional time constraints that determine if the marriage is eligible for annulment. For example, if one spouse wants to end the marriage due to coercion, the coercion must have existed at the time of the wedding ceremony, and the spouse must be in fear of bodily harm. In cases of fraud, the fraud must directly be related to the marriage. If a spouse lied about their temper or debt, that is not considered to be related to the marriage. However, hiding a pregnancy from another man at the time of marriage would be considered appropriate for an annulment.
How Can You Receive an Annulment?
In Maryland, you will start by filing a Complaint for Annulment in your local circuit court. Lebovitz Law can assist you in determining your eligibility for an annulment and preparing all necessary paperwork. You will need to build a strong case to be granted an annulment, as the legal requirements for an annulment in Maryland are well-defined and strict.
Are You Considering Divorce or an Annulment? Get Help!
If you are a spouse looking to determine if you are eligible for an annulment or file for divorce, Lebovitz Law can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us toda.