Pennsylvania Family Law and Divorce
Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.

Pennsylvania Divorce Topic of the Week: Annulments

By Lisa Marie Vari on Google+

Today our Western PA divorce lawyers provide you with answers to the most frequently asked questions we get from our clients about Pennsylvania annulments. Most want to know the difference between a Pittsburgh divorce and annulment, whether they can get an annulment, and what they need to prove in order to get an annulment. If you are contemplating ending your marriage and want to know if you can obtain an annulment instead of a PA divorce, today's blog is a must read for you.

What's the difference between an annulment and a divorce?

An annulment is a declaration that a legal marriage never existed and that the parties were always legally single during the marriage, although those parties took steps to get married. A divorce, on the other hand, recognizes that a legal marriage existed and restores the parties to the status of being single. Simply put, an annulment is a legal declaration that a valid marriage never existed, meaning the marriage was invalid and a divorce declares that a valid marriage is over.

How can a couple obtain an annulment in PA?

There are very limited circumstances when people who were married can obtain an annulment to dissolve their marriage instead of proceeding through the PA divorce process. The two grounds that would allow a couple to obtain a Pennsylvania annulment instead of a divorce are if there was an invalid marriage or a voidable marriage.

What constitutes an invalid marriage?

In Pennsylvania, invalid marriages include situations where either party was already married at the time of the marriage, when the parties are blood relatives, or when one of the spouses could not consent because of a mental defect.

What is a voidable marriage?

Under Pennsylvania law, a voidable marriage exists when either spouse is less than sixteen years of age and lacks the consent of a parent or the court, where either party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and when either party entered into the marriage as a result of fraud, duress, or coercion.

How do I find out if I qualify for a Pennsylvania annulment?

Contact a Pittsburgh family law attorney at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates to discuss the specifics of your case and to learn more about annulments. We can help you determine whether or not you qualify for an annulment and if so, we can help you obtain one.

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