Can I end my marriage without getting a divorce?

Marriage is a legally-binding arrangement, and in nearly all cases, a divorce is required to bring the marriage to a close. However, divorce can be costly, difficult to navigate and stressful. This might make you wonder: Is there a way to end a marriage without going through a divorce?

There is one way that you might be able to end your marriage, but it will only work in a select few cases: annulment.

Under what circumstances can you annul a marriage?

Marriages that you can annul are rare, but, it may be possible. Here are few examples of situations in which you might be able to annul your marriage:

  • Fraud: If one or the other spouses lied prior to marriage, and, had the truth been known, the other spouse would have had cause to not go through with the marriage, annulment could be possible.
  • Mental illness: If you or your spouse was mentally ill at the time of the marriage, it could be possible for the marriage to be annulled — because the mentally ill person might not have been making clear decisions at the time. If the person was temporarily insane, the same concept applies.
  • Being drunk: Individuals who get married while they were drunk could legally argue that they were never actually married.
  • Duress: Imagine someone is forced to get married because he or she faced manipulation — be it through the threat of violence or financial manipulation. This might lead to a court ruling that the person married under duress and did not actually give his or her free consent to the marriage.
  • Couldn’t consummate the marriage: This basically means that the person who got married was incurably impotent and unable to have sexual intercourse and the other party didn’t know at the time of marriage that this was the case.
  • One spouse was already married: It’s illegal to get married twice. For those who are already married, any secondary marriage will be subject to annulment.

Do you want to get your marriage annulled?

The above situations are not the only ones in which annulment is possible, but they are the most common reasons for annulment. If you believe that your marriage is unlawful or that you could be able to cancel it through annulment, be sure to fully understand all the legal issues that pertain to your situation.