In most situations, married individuals who want to legally separate from each other will need to formally seek and be granted a divorce from a state court. However, if a previously granted marriage was legally invalid in some way or certain other conditions existed prior to the marriage, it may be possible to seek legal separation through a different process known as annulment.
Annulment is only appropriate in very specific scenarios, and as a knowledgeable divorce attorney could explain, the procedures for pursuing one are different from those associated with traditional divorce. If you wish to pursue this option, consulting with a Hamilton County annulment lawyer should be a priority before taking any legal action on your own.
Unlike divorce, which is the legal process of terminating a valid marriage, annulment is specifically meant for terminating an invalid marriage—in other words, a marriage that should never have happened under state law. Accordingly, bigamy is among the most common reasons for seeking annulment in Hamilton County, since it is illegal for any individual to be married to more than one person at a time.
Other circumstances that could possibly allow for annulment include:
It should be noted that certain circumstances listed above have additional criteria that must be met to serve as valid grounds for annulment, as a Hamilton County annulment attorney could further explain. For instance, annulment based on denial of marital rights is only possible if the two spouses never lived together or engaged in sexual intercourse with each other, and if the spouses did not sign any agreement stipulating separate living arrangements before being married.
The first step to annulling a marriage in Hamilton County is filing a “Complaint for Annulment” with the county circuit court, after at least one spouse within the marriage has lived in Tennessee for at least six months. This complaint must include:
Once the circuit court clerk’s office processes the complaint and the non-filing spouse has been served a copy of said complaint, the court will set a hearing date for the petitioner to prove they have valid grounds for seeking annulment, a process that a seasoned lawyer in Hamilton County could provide vital assistance with. If the judge sides with the petitioner, they will grant the annulment, and both parties will immediately be free to marry other people if they wish.
Annulment is a sensitive topic in both legal and personal terms, and deciding to pursue one is a serious choice. If it is the right choice, though, guidance from qualified legal counsel could make a difference in your ability to pursue a quick resolution to this process while minimizing stress on everyone’s part.
A Hamilton County annulment lawyer could be a steadfast ally from beginning to end of this complex legal proceeding. Call today for a private meeting.