Cherokee County Annulment Lawyer

A divorce ends a legal marriage. An annulment is a declaration by a judge that a legal marriage never existed.

Annulments are only available in limited circumstances. Consult a Cherokee County annulment lawyer at the Atlanta Divorce Law Group if you want to explore voiding your marriage and your options for moving forward.

Legal Reasons for an Annulment

An annulment is only possible when a spouse can prove that a marriage was never legally valid. For example, a marriage could not be valid if one party was already married. If the spouses are prohibited from marrying because they are close relatives, or one or both of them were too young to legally marry, they could also seek an annulment.

Additionally, people who were incapable of consenting to marriage could qualify for annulments. A spouse could be incapable of consenting if they were drunk or high when the marriage occurred. Similarly, people with significant developmental or intellectual disabilities also might be incapable of consenting to marriage.

An annulment legally erases the union, so in theory, it could make any children of the marriage illegitimate. Because of this, the Official Code of Georgia §19-4-1 prohibits annulment if a couple has children. Parents must instead seek a divorce, even if they would otherwise have grounds for an annulment.

Annulments Based on Fraud or Coercion

Forced marriage and marriage based on a falsehood are not legal and can be annulled. Speak with a Cherokee County attorney if you feel that you did not have a choice about marrying or if your spouse lied or misrepresented themselves in a way that induced you to marry them. A legal professional from our firm can review your situation and determine whether it meets the legal requirements for an annulment.

Financial Issues to Be Resolved in Annulment Proceedings

The length of a marriage is not relevant in Georgia annulment proceedings. Two people could live together as a married couple for years before getting an annulment. In that case, they might have accumulated property together.

Judges handle property division in annulment cases the same way they handle it when couples divorce. The law requires an equitable division of marital property, which is everything either spouse acquired during the marriage, regardless of who paid for it. Equitable division means each spouse should get a fair share of the marital property, but not necessarily an equal portion.

When one spouse is financially dependent on the other, a court could award alimony or spousal support. A spouse in Cherokee County should speak with an attorney about whether alimony might be possible in their case.

How to Obtain an Annulment

You request an annulment by filing a petition with the Superior Court in the county where either you or your spouse have lived for the past six months. The petition must explain the grounds that entitle you to annul your marriage, and you must arrange to have it served on your spouse.

When both spouses agree to the annulment, they can waive service. When they also agree on the division of their property, they could submit their agreements with the annulment petition. Otherwise, the court will decide how the couple should divide their property, which could delay the proceedings.

The court will hold a hearing and consider the evidence proving the grounds for annulment. A Cherokee County attorney can compile and present the necessary documents and other evidence. If the judge agrees there is sufficient proof the marriage was never legally valid, the court will issue an annulment. It will take effect 30 days after the court issues it.

Discuss Annulment With a Cherokee County Attorney

Most people will not qualify for an annulment. For people who do qualify, it is a relatively simple way to erase a marriage.

Consult a Cherokee County annulment lawyer with the Atlanta Divorce Law Group if you believe your marriage might not be valid. Get in touch today to explore your options.

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