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What does it take to get an annulment in Virginia?

Sometimes couples in Virginia get swept off their feet, and rush to the alter to be married as quickly as possible. However, they may come to the realization soon after the fact that they really never should have gotten married at all. While it may seem like divorce is their only option at this point, in some situations it may be possible to seek an annulment of the marriage.

Annulment is not the same as divorce. In a divorce, it is recognized that the couple was legally married and through divorce is undoing that union. An annulment, on the other hand, essentially makes it so that the couple's marriage was never recognized by law and is therefore "erased." With that in mind, Virginia couples may wonder what situations would lead to an annulment.

One reason a marriage may be annulled is if a person got married due to an act of fraud. Impotence on the part of one partner may also be a reason to annul a marriage. In Virginia, half or whole-blood relatives can't be married to each other, and any marriage between the two will be annulled. Instances of bigamy can also lead to an annulment.

In Virginia, there are certain steps that must be taken when seeking an annulment. One partner will have to file a Complaint for Annulment in his or her county of residence. Moreover, the partner seeking annulment must have resided in Virginia for at least six months. The Complaint for Annulment will then be served on the other party. Finally, the matter will go to court, where a hearing will take place in which a judge will decide whether to allow the annulment.

Annulments are not the same as divorce, but in very specific circumstances may be an option. If a person in Virginia wants out of a marriage that may not have been legally valid in the first place, he or she may want to seek the help needed to determine if an annulment is possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Virginia Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws," Accessed July 24, 2017

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