St. Louis Annulment Attorneys
When a marriage ends, one party may wish to have the marriage annulled rather than pursue a divorce. For example, some religions make it more difficult for divorced persons to remarry within their particular faith. In other situations, the very brief duration of the marriage and the belief of the parties that they both made a mistake and want to “wipe the slate clean” may make annulment more attractive than divorce.
In Missouri, annulments can be granted only in very limited circumstances, generally to protect the interests of the parties. To give just one glaring example, courts almost never grant an annulment where the parties had a child together, because the annulment would make the marriage disappear and leave the legal status of the child in limbo. So, when will courts allow an annulment?
Generally, the marriage must be of short duration and the party seeking the annulment must plead specific facts establishing one of the following grounds:
- Fraud or Misrepresentation. If a party leads the other party to believe something that forms part of the inducement to marry in the first place, and it turns out that something was a lie, an annulment would be an option. For example, if a woman told her prospective husband she could have children, and the prospective husband would only marry if she could have children, and the woman knew she could not in fact have children, the basis of the marriage was a fraud – it was as if the woman tricked the man into marriage. If the prospective husband was the one who made the promise of fertility but knew he was sterile, he too would be guilty of fraud.
- Concealment. Closely related to fraud, concealment consists of the deliberate hiding of a critical fact that, if disclosed, would have caused the other party not to enter marriage. So, if one party intentionally fails to mention he has HIV or she has terminal cancer, and the other party would not have married if the withheld fact had been known, an annulment would be available.
- Refusal or Inability to Consummate the Marriage. If one party has been incapable of or simply refused to consummate the marriage by engaging in sexual intercourse, an annulment would be an option.
Because an annulment would render the marriage non-existent, the trial court that grants an annulment cannot also make dispositions of property. So, parties considering annulment should think about the potential financial consequences of annulment versus divorce, and only an experienced divorce attorney can properly advise you as to whether the circumstances of your marriage would support certain financial relief.
To proceed through this legal maze, you will need a skilled and experienced family law attorney to represent and assert your interests, provide you with critical advice, evaluate the merits of the case and present you with possible outcomes relating to custody, property and support.
At The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C, we have over fifty years of combined experience handling annulments. We help individuals understand their rights with regard to all issues and will advocate on your behalf and fully present your case.
Time to Act
Time is of the essence. As soon as you select The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. to represent you, we will immediately put our considerable experience and resources to work on your case. The sooner we can review the necessary information, the sooner we can formulate a strategy for your unique circumstances, helping to ensure the best possible outcome.