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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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Wisconsin divorce lawyerEnding a marriage is a big step for any couple, but this is especially true for couples who have been together for years. Even if you know that your marriage is not working and that neither of you is particularly happy, you may not be ready to officially divorce. Perhaps, for financial reasons, you cannot afford to divorce your spouse, but you know you cannot stay married either. Or maybe, unbeknownst to you, your spouse was actually married to another person when you got married to him or her. In situations such as these, it may be worth looking into other options for your marriage. Wisconsin recognizes three separate actions for dealing with legal marital issues: annulment, legal separation, and divorce. Although they are fairly similar, they do have separate requirements and outcomes. 

Annulment

If you have your marriage annulled, you are asking to have your marriage legally erased, as if it never happened. Annulment is a process that is only done in very limited circumstances. To get an annulment, you must meet at least one requirement outlined in Wisconsin’s laws. Grounds that qualify for annulment include:

  • You or your spouse lacked the capacity to consent to the marriage as a result of mental illness, intellectual disability, drug or alcohol use, or through the use of force or duress.

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Racine County divorce attorney

It has often been said that marriages do not end overnight; they slowly deteriorate, falling apart over months or even years before they are considered to be “broken.” Some people recognize these signs of atrophy over time, although many do not, which is why it is not uncommon for situations to exist in which one spouse is completely shocked by the other spouse’s desire to get a divorce. Chances are, however, if your marriage is having issues, you can probably sense some of the tension. It is normal to go through periods of restlessness or unhappiness throughout your marriage, but how do you know when it is time to call it quits? There is no simple answer to that question; however, there are some common signs that typically appear in marriages that are irreversibly damaged, including:

1. You Have More Bad Days Than Good

Marriage can be hard work, and it takes a concerted effort by both spouses to make it last. You will experience some bumps throughout your union, but they should not cause you so much grief that you find it hard to function on a daily basis. Everyone has bad days from time to time, but if your bad days begin to outweigh your good days, this may become an issue. Studies show that happy couples have 20 positive interactions for every negative interaction, while couples nearing divorce typically have the same number of positive and negative interactions.

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Milwaukee County divorce attorney asset and property division

When you get married, you do not expect to get divorced from your spouse. However, people and circumstances can change. In some cases, the best decision for everyone in the family is for you and your spouse to end your marriage. However, divorce is a very emotionally and financially stressful event. It is no secret that getting a divorce is expensive, and it can take a huge toll on your current and future financial situation. Although it can feel like your entire life is being dismantled during your divorce, your finances do not have to suffer. Below are a few ways you can increase the chances of coming out of your divorce while maintaining financial security.

Understand Your Rights to Marital Property

One of the most important ways you can make sure you are in good financial standing after the divorce is having a complete picture of your marital finances. You can do this by making a list of what you and your spouse own in assets and property and by also making a list of what debts you both have incurred throughout the marriage. This way, you will know whether you will need to take on debts such as credit card balances, vehicle loans, or a home mortgage after the divorce. Once you know exactly what you and your spouse own in regard to marital property, you can begin to plan your asset division strategy to determine which assets are the most important to you and what you are willing to fight for. For example, you may want to stay in the marital home if you will be the custodial parent of your children. 

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Milwaukee County parenting time lawyer

The winter holiday season is well on its way, but this can be a difficult time of year for some people, especially if they have just gone through or are currently going through a divorce. Your first Christmas after your divorce can be one of the toughest periods you will experience, especially if you have children. Everyone wants their children to have a happy and cheerful upbringing with fond childhood memories, but that can seem like a pipe dream when you are in the midst of a divorce. It is important to remember that just because your first holiday after a divorce may not seem very festive, it does get easier. Here are a few tips to help you celebrate the holidays amidst and after your divorce:

Rethink Your Mindset

It can be saddening to think that your whole family will not be together for the holidays any longer, but that does not mean you cannot have a good time. Even if you do not see your children on specific holidays, you can still make the day meaningful. For example, if you are alone on Thanksgiving, consider volunteering at a soup kitchen to make someone else’s day better. Having a nice holiday is all about how you look at it.

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