Some Pennsylvania couples may be surprised to know that there may be another option for ending a marriage besides filing for divorce. They can follow in the footsteps of Kris Humphries, and other celebrities, who have sought an annulment for their marriages, rather than pursue a divorce.
An annulment basically means that, in the eyes of the law, a marriage never existed. However, an annulment is only available in certain circumstances. These include cases in which it could be argued that one person or both parties did not actually consent to the marriage. Such reasons include incest, mental incapacity, fraud and an inability or refusal to consummate the marriage.
There are many reasons why an annulment may be a preferred option. One advantage of seeking an annulment, as opposed to a divorce, can be financial. If an annulment is granted, then the court will attempt to put both parties back in the financial situation that they were in before the marriage took place. That sidesteps the sometimes arduous process of diving martial assets.
In the case of Kris Humphries' marriage to Kim Kardashian, this may not be exactly why he is seeking an annulment. Instead, the couple had a prenuptial agreement in effect that barred him from speaking about the couple's relationship. However, if he is able to say that the marriage never took place, then he can also disregard the prenuptial agreement he signed. Doing so would likely give him the ability to talk about his short-term marriage to celebrity TV shows or maybe even write a tell-all book.
In any event, Pennsylvania couples who are considering divorce may perhaps want to consider whether an annulment may be appropriate, or even available. States differ as to their laws regarding annulments, and as a result it would be necessary to seek an experienced family law attorney who can help guide you through all of your options.
Source: creditcards.com, "Annulment vs. divorce: How it impacts finances," Tamara E. Holmes, Dec. 30, 2011