Maybe you got carried away in the moment while you were on vacation with your partner and tied the knot – or maybe you totally planned out your wedding only to realize it was a big mistake almost as soon as the party was over. Either way, you just want back out.
Do you really have to go through a divorce, or can you just get the marriage annulled? Here’s what you need to know:
Annulment isn’t as easy as you may think
A lot of people assume that it’s easy to annul a short marriage, especially if the couple said, “I don’t,” within hours or days of saying, “I do.”
However, it’s not that simple to get an annulment. In Louisiana, there are actually two forms of annulments. One is where the court declares the marriage invalid from the moment of its inception, and the other is where the marriage is “relatively null,” or invalid only from the moment the court says so.
In general, however, you can’t use annulment to replace divorce – even if the change of heart was almost immediate. Your marriage may be declared relatively null if there’s evidence that one or both parties were forced into the marriage, and absolutely null if it was:
- ● Not legally permissible in the first place (such as due to a close familial relationship between the parties or because one party is already married)
- ● There was no valid ceremony (meaning, for example, the minister wasn’t licensed or you never actually went through with the whole wedding)
Even then, it’s not an entirely easy process. It still requires a petition, a court hearing, testimony and a judge’s decision. While some states make annulment quick and easy, Louisiana simply isn’t one of them.
For most couples who regret their nuptials right away, an uncontested divorce is the most likely option. That simply means that you and your spouse are able to agree on all of the big issues.
It may be frustrating to think that your divorce will drag on longer than your marriage, but you can take appropriate steps today to extract yourself from an unhappy relationship.