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Can I Get My Marriage Annulled in Wisconsin?

Posted on in Divorce/Family Law

WI family lawyerTelevision and movies often show married couples getting their marriage annulled after a last-minute decision to marry. While it is often depicted as a quick fix for spouses who regret getting married, it is actually quite difficult to get an annulment in Wisconsin. Many people misunderstand the purpose of annulling a marriage. They assume that an annulment is equivalent to a fast-tracked divorce. However, annulment is only possible under a narrow range of circumstances.

What is the Difference Between an Annulment and a Divorce?

Annulment and divorce are two very different legal processes. Divorce terminates a marriage. Annulment deems a marriage “invalid.” A marriage that has been annulled is considered to have never taken place. Another issue that confuses the subject is that many people mistake religious annulment for civil annulment or legal annulment. In some religions, a marriage may be annulled in the eyes of the church if the marriage did not meet the standards required by that particular faith. However, a marriage that has been annulled through the church may not necessarily meet the criteria for legal annulment.

Criteria for Annulment in Wisconsin

Wisconsin only grants annulments under certain conditions. The grounds for annulment in Wisconsin include:

  • Age - A spouse was too young to legally consent to the marriage. If you have parental consent, you may marry at age 16 or 17. Otherwise, you must be at least 18 years old to get married.
  • Incapacitation – Spouses must have the mental capacity to know and understand what they are doing when they get married, If a spouse was intoxicated by drugs or alcohol or otherwise incapacitated, the marriage may be invalid.
  • Recently divorced – Divorced spouses must wait at least six months before getting married in Wisconsin. If a spouse gets remarried within six months of getting divorced, the marriage may be invalid.
  • Duress – A marriage that was entered into through force or coercion is not a valid marriage.
  • Fraud – If a spouse lied about an issue fundamental to the marriage, the marriage may be invalid.
  • Bigamy – If a spouse was still legally married to another person at the time of the marriage, the marriage is invalid.
  • Incest – Closer relatives may not marry in Wisconsin.

If you do not meet the criteria for annulment, your only option for ending your marriage is divorce.

Contact a Waukesha County Divorce Lawyer

To discuss your legal options for ending your marriage in Wisconsin, contact a skilled Milwaukee County family law attorney at Bucher Law Group, LLC. Call us at 262-303-4916 for a free consultation.



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