Getting an Annulment in Virginia
In the State of Virginia, an annulment is very different from a divorce. A divorce is the end of a legally valid marriage. However, an annulment is an end to a marriage that is found to be void or voidable at its onset and therefore not recognized by law to have ever existed. A void marriage is different from a voidable marriage.
The end of a marriage is always difficult. To understand if the end of your marriage is best done through an annulment or a divorce, please contact the experienced attorneys at our law firm to assist you in navigating this process.
Void marriages are viewed to have never existed from their onset. With or without a judicial decree, Virginia law will never recognize a void marriage. A marriage may be viewed as void for many different reasons. A marriage that was entered into while one or both partners were still married is void. Incestuous marriages, such as a marriage between brother and sister, grandparent and grandchild, parent and child, aunt and nephew or uncle and niece, are strictly prohibited and thus would be considered void. Underage marriages, without the consent of a parent, are also void in Virginia.
Unlike a void marriage, a voidable marriage requires a judge to determine if the circumstances warrant an annulment. Void marriages are null with or without a judicial decree; however, voidable marriages require a court’s determination.There are different reasons a marriage may be considered voidable. For example, if one spouse enters a marriage under fear or threat of harm, their marriage was created under duress and thus may be deemed voidable. If a spouse was defrauded into marriage and the fraud was great enough that there would not have been a marriage without the deceitful actions, a judge may also find that the marriage is voidable. Similarly, if a spouse conceals a past of being a convicted felon or of prostitution before the marriage, such a marriage may be voidable. Also, if another man impregnates a woman, at the time of marriage,, unbeknownst to her husband, their marriage may be voidable. When considering if your marriage is voidable, keep in mind there is a two-year time limit from the start of your marriage for a court to make that determination.
Contact An Attorney
Whether you are going through a separation, divorce or an annulment, contact or call the lawyers at Shannon & Bedois, P.C. at (757) 228-5529. We have the experience to navigate this difficult process and advise you on what path is best for you.