What is an Annulment?


When many couples decide to end their marriage, they want to know their options. Most people opt for divorce, but they are interested in an annulment. However, most marriages do not qualify for one.

An annulment is different from a divorce in that it wipes out the marriage as if it never existed. It cancels out the marriage and declares it null and void.

An annulment requires certain criteria to be met. Read on to see if your marriage qualifies for one.

Grounds for Annulment

The grounds for annulment may vary by state. In Tennessee, you may annul your marriage for the following reasons:

  • This means that the spouses are closely related (closer than first cousins).
  • One of the spouses was already legally married at the time of the marriage.
  • One spouse was coerced into marriage by the other spouse.
  • The marriage is based solely on lies and deceit.
  • One spouse has been declared insane or unable to understand the nature of marriage before getting married.
  • One or both spouses was too young to be married. In Tennessee, the general age for marriage is 18, although a 17-year-old can be married with parental consent.
  • Denial of marital rights. When a couple is married, their rights are to live together and have sexual relations. When one party refuses to do so, they may be able to get an annulment.

The Process

To file for an annulment, you will need to file a “Complaint for Annulment” in the circuit or chancery court where you or your spouse live. One spouse must have lived in Tennessee for six months.

To fill out the complaint, you will need to have numerous pieces of information, such as the full name, address, and date of birth of each spouse. You will also need to list information about any children born during the marriage.

Once you have filled out your complaint, it needs to be filed in the circuit or chancery court clerk’s office. You will need an extra copy of your filed complaint to serve on your spouse.

The matter will proceed to trial where you will have to verify your grounds to have your marriage annulled. You should obtain any evidence and witnesses to support your grounds for annulment. If you can successfully prove your case to the judge, they will award the annulment.

What if There are Children?

The law treats annulled spouses as individuals, so there can still be an annulment if there are children involved. They will follow the same laws that are in place for unmarried parents.

All legal parents have rights regardless of marital status. They can decide on parental responsibility over their child and work with the other parent to agree on parenting schedules and arrangements. If the spouses cannot agree on child custody, then the courts will make the decisions for them.

Contact Us Today

An annulment is not the same as a divorce. Getting one is not easy and requires strict criteria to be met.

Want to end your marriage? The Law Office of David L. Scott can help you understand all the laws involved and give you solid advice and guidance during this difficult time. To schedule a consultation, call (615) 896-7656 or fill out the online form.

Guide for Out-of-Court Divorce Settlement in Florida

Previous article

Turning the Tables on DUI Charges: How the Right Defense Can Make All the Difference

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Law