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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:

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