Annulment is a legal process through which a civil court declares that a marriage never existed. However, obtaining an annulment in Mississippi is a very specific and limited process, contrary to the misconception that it is an easier or quicker alternative to divorce. Seeking the assistance of a lawyer is crucial due to the restricted circumstances under which an annulment can be granted. It is important to differentiate this legal process from a religious annulment, which should be pursued through religious authorities and holds no legal weight in the eyes of the state.
Grounds for annulment in Mississippi include:
- Incest: Marriage between close relatives, such as parent and child, siblings, first cousins, etc. is considered void, and any children born from an incestuous marriage are considered illegitimate.
- Bigamy: If one spouse was already married to another living person at the time of the second marriage, the second marriage is void. However, children from such marriages are still considered legitimate.
- Impotence: An annulment can be sought if one spouse is incurably impotent at the time of marriage.
- Age: Violations of age-related marriage rules may provide grounds for annulment.
- Mental Illness: If one or both spouses were mentally ill or incompetent at the time of marriage, a court may grant an annulment.
- Force or Fraud: If consent to marry is obtained through force or fraud, the marriage may be invalid.
To initiate the annulment process in Mississippi, the case should be filed in the chancery court of the county where the non-filing spouse resides, where the marriage license was issued, or where the filing spouse lives if the non-filing spouse lives in another state. Due to the complexity of annulment claims, legal assistance is strongly recommended.
When a judge grants an annulment, it signifies that the marriage never existed. Children born of an annulled marriage are considered legitimate, except in cases of incest. The court may also issue orders regarding child custody, visitation, child support, and the division of marital property, similar to alimony.
Know Your Rights – Talk to a Family Law Attorney Today
If you are considering an annulment, it is important to seek the advice of a legal professional who can help you navigate the process and understand the potential consequences. An attorney can help you understand your rights and responsibilities and can represent you in court. Consider talking to a qualified, experienced family law attorney at Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. We handle all types of family law matters, including annulment, all across the state of Mississippi. Our firm can handle your case with a balance of compassion and confidence to guide you through one of the most difficult times a person can go through. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.