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Annulment

Northern Virginia Attorneys

Annulment

Northern Virginia Marriage Annulment Lawyers

There are many reasons that a person might choose to have a marriage annulled rather than simply settle for a divorce. Religious convictions or one spouse’s desire to eliminate his or her association with the other often factor into a decision to seek an annulment.

The law in Virginia is very specific with regard to the requirements that must be met in order to receive an annulment, and the process can become quite complex for people who have never been through it before. Be sure that you seek the advice of an experienced northern Virginia annulment lawyer who understands the law and can help you reach a favorable outcome. At Hale Ball, we represent clients in all types of annulment cases.

If the court grants an annulment, the marriage is treated as if it never existed. Marriages that are eligible for an annulment can be divided into two categories: void marriages and voidable marriages.

Void Marriages

A void marriage or a void ab initio (void from the beginning) marriage will never be recognized as legal in Virginia. An annulment can be sought for a void marriage at any time, even after a spouse’s death.

In Virginia, void marriages include:

  • Underage marriages, generally both parties are required to be 18
  • Bigamous marriages: Was my spouse’s divorce finalized before we were married?
  • Marriages between family members also referred to as incestuous marriages
  • Same-sex marriages

Any perceived marriage involving these types of facts is void as a matter of law without the requirement of obtaining a decree of annulment. If you believe that you have a voidable marriage, however, you would be well advised to seek the advice of a qualified divorce attorney who can help you seek a court annulment order confirming the marriage to be void.

Voidable Marriages

A voidable marriage is still considered to be a valid marriage unless someone obtains a decree of annulment from a court. Contrary to void ab initio marriages, voidable marriages can be confirmed by the parties and annulments cannot be sought after the death of one of the spouses.

In addition, the right to file for an annulment of a voidable marriage can be denied if a spouse has knowledge of the circumstance that makes the marriage voidable, but still chooses to cohabitate with the other spouse. In Virginia, an annulment for a voidable marriage typically must be filed within two years of the date of the marriage.

Examples of marriages that may be voidable in Virginia include:

  • Impotency at the time of entering into the marriage
  • Either party being convicted of a felony, without the knowledge of the other
  • A wife being pregnant at the time of marriage with the child of a person other than her husband
  • The husband, without the knowledge of the wife, fathering a child born to another woman other than the wife within 10 months of the marriage
  • Either the husband or wife was a prostitute, without the knowledge of the other
  • Fraudulent or sham marriages
  • Marriages under duress

To obtain an annulment in Virginia, a complaint needs to filed with the circuit court and the grounds for the annulment must be proven to a judge. The Attorneys at Hale Ball have experience with the annulment process in the Virginia courts.

Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Attorney

If you have a question, we encourage you to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our Northern Virginia lawyers. To make an appointment call us at the above telephone number 1-703-591-4900 or use the contact form below.

Since 1980 the AV-rated law firm of Hale Ball has served the legal needs of individuals and businesses. Our team of attorneys include lawyers named to Super Lawyer and Rising Star lists, as well as attorneys with advanced legal degrees, specialty certifications and lawyers who teach their areas of practice to other lawyers.

Use the contact form on this page to schedule a consultation, or call 703-591-4900.

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