When we filled out the marriage license and it asked if he was free to marry, we believed he was since no such marriage existed at that time. What is the answer here? We get conflicting information from every lawyer we have contacted. We love each other and we want to remain together. Brette's Answer : I don't know the answer to this since much will depend on case law in your state. The safest answer, is get a divorce from the previous wife and have another marriage ceremony once that's done.
Is my marriage valid if the previous marriage was annulled? Cheryl's Question : I have been married for 17 years. When we married, my soon to be ex told me we needed to get married before he went to court so that he could win custody. At the time, I was legally married to someone else, but later had the marriage annulled.
He convinced me that that the annulment would make it as though the first marriage never existed and our marriage would be legal. Due to our age difference I totally believed him. Now he is trying to get an annulment based on the fact that we were NEVER legally married and he is trying to keep all the assets and push me aside. I'm really upset as we have 6 children together over the years.
Brette's Answer : If you were legally married at the time of the second marriage, it is eligible for annulment, even if that first marriage was later annulled. It doesn't change the fact that you were married to someone else at the time of marriage. Assets are divided in an annulment just as they would be in a divorce. Children born into the marriage are legitimate even if the marriage is annulled. Get an attorney. Do I need to get my first marriage annulled so my second is valid?
Glenda's Question : I married at 18 to a man that was 40 and was with him for twenty years. I didn't know until 20 years later that he had never divorced his first wife. After I left the marriage, I married a man who was 80 and he died in my arms this year. Now because my Marriage License stated my "other married name", I am told that with the discrepancy on my marriage license to my second husband that I may not be able to draw his pension. What in the world should I do; get an annulment? Brette's Answer : You need to get an attorney to sort this out.
Your first marriage was never valid if your ex was previously married and did not divorce. You need a declaration that that marriage was never valid. Is our marriage legal if there was a no-contact order when we married? Ann's Question : If there is a no contact order between two people in one state and they go to another state and get married, is that a legal marriage?
If so, could the marriage be annulled? Brette's Answer : A no-contact order does not mean you cannot marry. After all, if you are both in agreement it is possible to get such an order lifted. However if an order such as this was in place, it provides a good argument to show the marriage was not consensual - that some kind of force or threat was involved, so that would be grounds for an annulment.
The Basics of Annulment in California
How should I proceed if I don't know if I'm legally married to him? Tina's Question : I've been in a very bad, abusive relationship for 28 years and we've been married for 20 years. We were advised that our marriage was null and void as he had paid someone for a quick Dominican Republic divorce from his first wife that was not recognized in California. Therefore, I'm assuming I'm not legally married to him. Do I have to get a marriage annulment or what legal process do I have to use to ensure I'm no longer married to him and to split the property we accumulated living together for all these years?
Brette's Answer : If you're not legally married, then you don't qualify for divorce or annulment. First I think you need to have someone verify that your marriage is not legal. If it isn't, then I highly recommend you go see a mediator who can help you figure out what to do. Will the marriage become void if one spouse deserts the other? Regina's Question : If a spouse leaves the other and moves out of the state without providing a new address or contact information, will the marriage eventually become void after some time or does the abandoned spouse still have to file for divorce?
Is our marriage still valid if my husband got deported? Topic: Should I get a divorce or an annulment? Jennifer's Question : I don't know if I should get a divorce or an annulment? We've been married for six months and have no assets together, no kids or anything that would need to be divided. If I have to talk to a lawyer, does it usually cost just to get some answers to some of my questions? Brette's Answer: To get an annulment, you must meet some very specific criteria.
If you don't qualify for an annulment, you should be able to do a simple uncontested divorce. Most attorneys offer a free consultation where they will discuss the generalities of your case and how they think it would be best to proceed. Since you've been married for such a short time, the property settlement should be relatively easy. Call and get a free consultation or find out if there are free or no cost legal services available call the bar association in your area and ask.
My husband filed for divorce before I could file for an annulment. Rachelle : I am in the process of filing for an annulment due to fraud undisclosed illegal status prior to marriage my husband has filed for a divorce prior to my getting my annulment papers filed Brette's Answer : Go to the next court date and ask to have the proceedings combined into the annulment proceeding by dismissing the divorce , or ask to have the divorce converted to an annulment proceeding.
Just explain to the judge what is going on. Is an annulment possible after you've been divorced? Kathy's Question : I was divorced thirty years ago, now my ex-husband wants an annulment.
Is this possible? Brette's Answer : Since you are already legally divorced, I am assuming he is asking for a religious annulment. If your ex wants to marry again in the Catholic Church, he will need this. You should consult your clergy about any questions you have and to understand how the process works.
Can the judge erase the record of ever being married? Adalynn's Question : After or during a divorce process, can I request the judge that I want to erase the record of ever being married to that person and just be known as never married? Brette's Answer : If that is what you want, you need to file for an annulment, but you need to make sure you qualify. Your state court's web site should have this information. Would a child of an annulled marriage be considered illegitimate? Elizabeth's Question : If a lady was 3 weeks pregnant before she got married, but got an annulment due to fraud, is the child illegitimate?
Brette's Answer : All children born during marriage are considered legitimate. It doesn't matter when the pregnancy began. An annulment has no effect on the legitimacy of children born into the marriage. How is custody and support affected by an annulment? Kristen's Question : My marriage is being annulled due to bigamy. What would happen with the child support issues and custody issues? Is it treated any differently than it would be if we got a divorce? Brette's Answer : It really makes little difference whether you end up with a divorce or an annulment. Either way, the court must decide issues of custody and child support.
And should you get an annulment, your child is still considered "legitimate". Would an annulment affect his parental rights if he isn't the father? Melinda's Question : I got pregnant by another man who left me when he found out he was going to be a father. When I was seven months pregnant, my husband and I decided to get married so the child could have a father. My daughter is now four months old and he wants out. If we are able to get an annulment, what happens to him for assuming parental rights?
Brette's Answer : An annulment has no impact on parental rights. In this case the child is presumed to be his since any child born during a marriage is legally the child of both parents. If he does not want to continue to be her father, he can initiate a paternity case.
If you don't want him to be the father, you can do the same thing. How would an annulment affect my children financially? Kathy's Question : How would a marriage annulment affect my children financially, would they still be his heirs? Brette's Answer : In general an annulment does not mean your children are illegitimate. It has no financial effect on your children and has no impact on inheritance. How do I get a religious annulment? Laura's Question : We are in the process of getting a divorce after almost 23 years.
I would also like to start my religious annulment. Do you know how long an annulment takes and if there are classes I must take? Are there religious attorneys you can hire to help get an annulment? Brette's Answer : Contact your priest for information about a Catholic annulment. It can be a long process, but there are advocates who can help you through the process. There are no classes, but a bureaucracy that it must wind its way through. You can find out more about getting a religious annulment at www.
The Basics of Annulment in California | DivorceNet
Can he get an annulment if he was married in a Jewish ceremony? Carolina's Question : I am getting married in September to a guy who has been divorced for three years. I want a Catholic ceremony but the church is asking for his annulment. They didn't have a church wedding, but were married at a hotel in a Jewish ceremony. We called his minister but they said only the Catholic Church does annulments. Where do we go to get an annulment? Brette's Answer : You would need to contact the rabbi who performed the ceremony and follow his instructions. A Jewish annulment is called a "get.
Can I contest a religious annulment? Robin's Question : My ex-husband and I were married for almost 25 years. We've been divorced for 1 year now. He's dating a much younger girl and she wants to get married in the Catholic Church. He's looking into an annulment, but I don't feel he deserves to be granted one. He is not a stand-up guy and shouldn't be considered as such in the Catholic Church. How can I contest the annulment? Brette's Answer : Your priest can advise you about the religious annulment process and whether it can be contested.
Does a religious annulment legally end my marriage? Lily's Question : If I had a religious annulment and remarried, is the second marriage valid? Brette's Answer : No. A religious annulment does not legally annul or end your marriage. Am I considered divorced or single if I got a religious annulment? Tina's Question : I've been divorced for over 25 years and my marriage was annulled within the Catholic Diocese.
When a question appears on a government form for tax purposes, should I check off "Divorced" as my status or am I able to check off "Single"? Brette's Answer : Unless you received an annulment from your state, you are legally divorced. A church annulment is a completely different situation. We want to get married and he is divorced, but we can't marry in a church unless the marriage is annulled.
Does he have grounds for annulment? Brette's Answer : A religious annulment is an entirely different thing than a legal annulment. He needs to talk to a priest about the steps and requirements, which are vastly different than a legal annulment. Do we need an annulment to get remarried in the church?
Kateri's Question : I am Catholic and 4 years I was married to a non-Catholic in a Catholic church after going to pre-candidate classes. We were legally divorced last fall because of my husband's infidelity. We have since gone to couples counseling and are considering remarriage.
To remarry in a Catholic church would I need to get an annulment? Brette's Answer : You need to check with your priest, but if you were married in the eyes of the church, generally you need an annulment if you want to marry again in the church. Is a church wedding possible if his first marriage wasn't legal? He was previously married through the Church in another country just a religious ceremony and not through the court. She deserted him one month after the wedding, ten years ago. She is now re-married. Would her actions i. Brette's Answer : If he was not legally married, you are free to marry in the US.
It sounds like you need to talk to a priest to determine what needs to be done to be free to marry in the church. Should I get an annulment right after the marriage? Michelle's Question : I am getting married in 2 weeks. I am not in love with the person I am about to marry, but I feel so much pressure from my family to marry him. Can I get an annulment right after the marriage? Brette's Answer : If you do not want to be married it is much simpler and less expensive to put a stop to it now.
Any legal proceeding - divorce or annulment will cost additional money. You might consider seeing a therapist who can help you determine what you really want. You could postpone the wedding until that point. What is the time limit to be able to get an annulment? Brette's Answer : There is no time limit, however most people who get annulments tend to get them within the first year. How long does it usually take to get an annulment?
Brette's Answer : If it is not contested, it is generally fairly quick several months, depending on court calendars. Brette's Answer : Annulments are not free. Like any other court procedure, there are filing and court fees. These can be waived if you can prove you are indigent. If you use an attorney, you will pay an hourly rate. Consult an attorney about what your options are. Dorothy's Question : I want to get an annulment with the basis of fraud, however I don't know if I can do it myself or if I need a lawyer. I never lived with my husband and I believe he married me just to get a legal status in the US.
If I file for annulment under fraud, how will this affect him? I don't want to make it a big mess either. Brette's Answer : I would suggest you see an attorney. An annulment is not as common a legal proceeding as a divorce, so you should have some legal counsel. There are some attorneys that are willing to help you prepare documents yourself for a reduced fee, so you may be able to find someone who will work in that kind of arrangement.
Which state should I file for an annulment in? Question : I want to annul my marriage. We were married in Hawaii, but now live in California. Can he contest the annulment and where should I file? Brette's Answer : You file in the state of your residence. Yes, he can contest the annulment. Can I get an annulment if we married in a different country? Jay's Question : I got married 3 months ago under a threat. I loved him enough to travel to his country. A few days before the wedding I discovered he was cheating and I wanted to back out, but he took my travel documents and even the police couldn't help me.
He eventually gave me my documents and I now want to get an annulment. Can I get one if the marriage was outside the US? Must he be present for me to be granted one? Brette's Answer : You have to meet residency requirements to file, so check your state requirements. He will have to be served, whether he shows up will be up to him.
Good luck! Can he file for an annulment without my knowledge? How was my marriage annulled if we have kids and I wasn't notified? Melisa : I just found out today that my marriage was annulled by my husband while he was incarcerated. I'm really upset about this because we have kids together so I don't understand how it was annulled. Brette's Answer : You should have received notice of the court proceeding and if you didn't it may be invalid. Annulments can be granted even when there are children.
Becky's Question : Can my husband just get annulment if I don't want it? We've only been married 5 months. Brette's Answer : If your husband seeks an annulment and your situation meets the state requirements, the court can grant it over your objections. The length of the marriage is irrelevant. Do you need proof the marriage wasn't consummated?
Question : My husband knows that cheating is not a reason for an annulment, so he is claiming our marriage wasn't consummated, which is not true. Do you need proof of the marriage wasn't consummated or can he get an annulment without proof? Brette's Answer : You can contest his grounds since they are false. The proof would be from testimony.
Can I get a marriage annulment if my husband has been deported? Brette's Answer : The problem is whether he can be given adequate notice of the proceeding. Talk to an attorney who can discuss your state's laws. How can I get my marriage annulled if I can't locate him? Question : I found out on my wedding night that my husband was gay, and I haven't seen him since it's been 8 years. Can I get the marriage annulled, and how do I proceed if I can't locate him? Brette Answers : If you can't locate him, the court will allow service by publication - a notice in the newspaper.
This does sound like grounds for annulment. Where do I get a copy of his first marriage certificate for my annulment? Jazlynn's Question : My husband is legally married to another woman, and I was told that I couldn't get an annulment unless I have a copy of his first marriage certificate. How do I get this? Brette's Answer: Marriage certificates are public record.
Find out where they got married and go get it. Can I still get an annulment if he divorces his first wife? Kathie's Question : I just filed for an annulment because I found out that my husband is still married.
Declaration of nullity
The day before I filed for the annulment, he filed for a divorce from his first wife. Will I get my annulment if he gets his divorce first? Brette's Answer : It doesn't matter if he gets a divorce. He was legally married at the time of your marriage and your marriage is not valid.
Can I annul my daughters' marriage if I was the one who signed for them to get married? Samantha's Question : I signed for my 17 year old daughter to get married and now realize that it was a big mistake. Can I, being her mother, get an annulment, even if neither of them wants to have the marriage annulled? Can his family file to have our marriage annulled?
Ronnie's Question : We got married in April and are in the process of moving in together right now. He is 88 and I am I am afraid that his family will try to have the marriage annulled. He has never been declared incompetent and neither one of us want to annul the marriage, but I'm afraid his family may try. Can they do that? Brette's Answer : His family cannot annul the marriage unless they are named guardians for him by the court due to incompetency or if he signs over power of attorney to them.
If he is not incompetent and he has not given them this power, they cannot annul the marriage. I suspect his family will be most concerned about his estate. If he intends to name you as his primary beneficiary, they may attempt to challenge it should he pass away. He needs a good estate attorney who can create a solid will with solid proof of his competency. Kimberly's Question : My husband and I were married four months ago. There were issues in the relationship on both sides before our marriage, and unfortunately the issues still remain.
We can't seem to agree when it comes to his child from his previous marriage. I want a marriage annulment if possible. I heard you could get that if you have been married less than 1 year. Brette's Answer: An annulment has nothing to do with the time period. It is all about the reason for the annulment.
Annulments are normally granted when one of the parties was underage at the time of marriage and proper consent wasn't obtained or when there was some kind of fraud involved. This means one party said things that weren't true to get the other person to enter the marriage. Other grounds for annulment would include mental illness, intoxication, impotency inability to consummate the marriage or because the parties are related. You should consult an attorney who can advise you if you qualify.
Can I get an annulment if the minister didn't use his legal name? Mary's Question : I was married nine months ago and am now considering an annulment. Our minister and two witnesses that signed our marriage license used their baptismal names instead of their legal names. Would this be strong grounds to receive an annulment?
An annulment has to do with fraud or mistake on the part of the parties. They gain insights into themselves. Others say that the process allowed them to tell their whole story for the first time to someone who was willing to listen. A person cannot know today if they might want to marry in the future when crucial witnesses may be deceased or their own memories may have dimmed. Why does the Catholic Church require an intended spouse, who is divorced but not Catholic, to obtain a declaration of nullity before marrying in the Catholic Church? The Catholic Church respects the marriages of non-Catholics and presumes that they are valid.
Thus, for example, it considers the marriages of two Protestant, Jewish, or even nonbelieving persons to be binding for life. Marriages between baptized persons, moreover, are considered to be sacramental. The Church requires a declaration of nullity in order to establish that an essential element was missing in that previous union that prevented it from being a valid marriage, and thus the intended spouse is free to marry.
This is often a difficult and emotional issue. Couples in this situation may find it helpful to talk with a priest or deacon. To go through the process can be a sign of great love of the non-Catholic for the intended spouse.
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When can we set a date for our wedding? First, the petition may not be granted. Second, even if the petition is eventually granted, there may be unexpected delays in the process, e. How much does it cost? Pope Francis has asked dioceses whenever possible to provide their tribunal services free of charge.
Depending upon how much your diocese is able to subsidize the work of its tribunal, you may be asked to pay a nominal fee. You may also be asked to make a donation following the completion of your case. Fees are typically payable over time, and may be reduced or even waived in cases of financial difficulty. Other expenses may be incurred when consultation with medical, psychological, or other experts is needed, or if you obtain the services of a private canon lawyer to represent you. How do I start the process? Your parish can provide the information and forms that you need to get started.
Every marriage has challenges. The good news is there are many dedicated staff willing to work with you and your spouse Daily challenges in family life sometimes seem unbearable and impossible to overcome. However, God leads us to sainthood in the midst of these crosses, so remember to ask Him for strength. For Your Marriage is here to support you! Marriage Unique for a Reason. Throughout www. USCCB assumes no responsibility for these websites, their content, or their sponsoring organizations.
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