An annulment differs from a divorce in that it effectively renders a marriage as having never existed. The circumstances under which you can seek an annulment are very limited, but the respondent always has the right to contest the annulment. If you are seeking to contest an annulment it is important to work with a College Station divorce attorney in order for your interests to be protected.
Grounds for Annulments
When a party files for a marriage to be annulled, they wish to have the state in essence wipe the chalkboard clean. Thereafter the person has the legal right to claim that there was no marriage. Of course, the ramifications of such a ruling preclude the filing party from obtaining any sort of spousal support or distribution of property.
It should be kept in mind that the grounds under which an annulment may be granted are few. Among them are:
- Inability to have sexual relations
Process of Contesting an Annulment
In a divorce or annulment case, the two parties are the petitioner and the respondent. When the respondent files an answer to an annulment petition, this means that the proceeding will be contested. You cannot simply challenge an annulment by telling the court that you wish to remain married. Rather, you are challenging the material representations made by the petitioner. For example, if the grounds for annulment are listed as fraud in the petition, you will need to argue that the fraud never occurred.
When you and your lawyer answer the petition, the court will schedule a hearing. The matter cannot be settled merely on written material. Instead, during the hearing arguments will be made to counter the grounds for the annulment petition. It is important to keep in mind that the burden of proof is with the petitioner. Using the example, the person who filed for the annulment must prove materially that you committed fraud in order for the annulment to stand. The court will decide whether or not the grounds are proven.
It is worth noting that if you are contesting an annulment, this does not prevent you from also filing for divorce.
For Strong Legal Representation during Your Annulment Contest
Just as with a divorce, it is very important that you have a knowledgeable and experienced College Station divorce attorney in your corner if you are fighting an annulment petition. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.