After you have gotten married, it can be devastating to learn that your spouse has not been honest with you about financial issues or other matters. In these kinds of circumstances, you may be wondering if you can be eligible to have your marriage annulled so that the law treats your marriage as if it never happened. It is important to know that annulments are only available in limited circumstances where something occurred such that the marriage is invalid. To be clear, under Michigan law, an annulment is not an alternative option to a divorce, but rather is a legal way of clarifying that the marriage was not legal in the first place. Accordingly, in most circumstances where one spouse lies about his debt, you will need to file for divorce instead of seeking an annulment. Our Michigan divorce lawyers can explain.
Annulment is Only Possible in Certain Circumstances
Under Michigan law, there are only six grounds on which a party can seek an annulment. To be clear, annulment is not designed for circumstances in which one of the parties regrets getting married or discovers that the other spouse was not completely honest about certain issues. While fraud can be one ground for annulment, failing to disclose information about certain debt is not usually considered to be fraudulent. The following are the six grounds for annulment in Michigan:
- Bigamy: If one of the spouses is already married to another person at the time of the marriage and has not gotten divorced;
- Blood relation: If the spouses are closely related by blood or by marriage, then the marriage is void;
- Fraud or force: If one or both of the parties failed to consent freely to the marriage as a result of fraud or force, then the marriage can be voided through an annulment, but only if the parties have not voluntarily cohabited with one another as a married couple;
- Lack of consent due to age: Michigan law requires both parties to be at least 18 years old, or be at least 16 years old with consent of a parent or guardian, in order for a marriage to be lawful;
- Mental incompetence: If one or both of the parties did not have the mental capacity to consent to the marriage, then an annulment may be possible; and
- Impotency: If one of the parties is physically unable to have children, and if that party knew about the sterility or impotency at the time of the marriage and failed to disclose it, and if it cannot be corrected, then an annulment may be possible if an action for an annulment is filed within two years from the date of the wedding.
To be clear, the only ground on which the nondisclosure of debt might potentially fall is under fraud or force, yet failing to disclose debt does not usually constitute an act of fraud for purposes of annulment. Further,
Contact a Michigan Divorce Lawyer
Even if you are not eligible for an annulment, one of our Michigan divorce lawyers can help you to initiate your divorce filing. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to find out more about annulment and divorce in Michigan.