Montgomery County PA Annulment Lawyer
What is a Marriage Annulment?
An annulment is "a judicial pronouncement declaring a marriage invalid." Differing from divorce, an annulment is done retroactively, meaning that a marriage that has been annulled is considered to have been invalid from the start, almost as though it never occurred. Divorce takes place when a marriage is determined to have been legally valid.
What Types of Marriages are Prohibited in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law prohibits the marriage of the following:
- Between ancestors and descendants
- Between aunt and nephew; brother and sister; uncle and niece; and first cousins
- Bigamous marriages
- Same sex marriages
- If one or both parties are "weak-minded or of unsound mind"
- If one or both parties are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- If the marriage is induced by fraud or by duress
- If impotence is an issue
When Can a Marriage Be Annulled in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, a marriage can be annulled on the following grounds, according to Pennsylvania Statues Title 23 §1304, 1704, 3304-3305, and 5102:
- A previous marriage is undissolved
- Whether the parties are blood relatives to a certain degree, also known as consanguinity
- If one of the parties lacked mental capacity, suffers from insanity, or another serious mental disorder and did not intend on consenting to the marriage
- If one of the parties is underage
If one of the parties is under the age of 18, written consent must be granted by a parent or guardian to approve a marriage. Anyone under the age of 16 will need parental consent as well as the approval of a judge. If this is not obtained, the marriage can be annulled.
What Happens When a Marriage is Annulled in Pennsylvania?
When a Pennsylvania marriage is annulled, certain rights that were gained through a marriage, such as property rights, child custody rights, and spousal support may be lost. Additionally, obtaining an annulment has tax and alimony consequences. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes that couples who have their marriage annulled did not have the right to file a joint tax return during the years they were married. Therefore, since the marriage technically didn’t exist, the two parties filed joint returns incorrectly. Couples who have their marriage annulled must then refile any joint tax returns as unmarried persons.
Helping Clients Resolve Their Marriage Issues
While they are rare, it is possible to obtain an annulment if specific criterion is met. It is recommended you consult with an experienced family law attorney to determine whether your specific situation and marriage qualify for a Pennsylvania annulment. At the Law Office of Sheryl R. Rentz, our skilled and experienced lawyers have the resources and legal knowledge necessary to assist you in your particular annulment case. For more information about how annulments work, please call us today at (866) 290-9292 for a free consultation. We’re here to help.