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Annulment versus Divorce in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2014 | Divorce

Divorce might be easy?  Well, when it is difference between an annulment and a divorce, an annulment is much harder to get.  There are two categories of marriages for which an annulment may be sought in Pennsylvania. The first are marriages that are void by their existence. The second are marriages that are voidable upon action be either party.

A marriage that is void is never considered to have been valid. In other words, a legal marriage never existed. Marriages are considered to be void in the following instances: the parties are closely related; either party was unable to consent because of mental illness or incapacity; or “either party at the time of such marriage had an existing spouse and the former marriage had not been annulled nor had there been a divorce, except where that party had obtained a decree of presumed death of the former spouse.” 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 3304.

A marriage that is voidable is considered to be valid until either of the parties acts to terminate the marriage. The following are examples of voidable marriages that may qualify for an annulment: either party was under the age of 16 without parental consent; either party cannot consummate the marriage and the condition cannot be cured, unless the condition was known before the marriage; consent to the marriage was given under duress, coercion, or fraud; or “either party to the marriage was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and an action for annulment is commenced within 60 days after the marriage ceremony.” 23 Pa.C.S.A § 3305.

Very few people actually qualify for an annulment. However if you are looking to terminate the marriage and do not qualify for an annulment you may file for divorce. Contact one of the experienced divorce attorneys at McMorrow Law, LLC at 724-940-0100 today to find out which option is the best for you.