I have a friend whose marriage is over. But he can’t break away from his “wife” because she’ll never sign any of the papers – she fights him every step of the way even though she doesn’t want to be married either. I suggested an Annulment, but how does that work?
– Worried Friend
Dear Furry Wren,
An annulment differs from a divorce in that it erases the marriage from your Permanent Record as if it never happened. You know – your Permanent Record? The very same musty-bound doorstop that details the time in fourth grade when Lisa wanted to be Mike Nesmith even though you said she made a much better Davy Jones and so you pushed her down on the playground asphalt of McCall’s Elementary School and the next thing you knew you were in the Principal’s office? That Permanent Record?
Marriage is a contract – and so an Annulment is based on the assumption that if either individual wrongly entered the contract, the marriage never happened. There are two types of annulment: A Civil Annulment is obtained from the government and appeases all logistical and legal concern, while a Religious Annulment is obtained from your church and appeases your Aunt Clarice.
The first step in the annulment process is proving the thing that prevents the marriage from being legal. Acceptable Civil Annulment excuses vary from state to state but usually include the following Annulment Sampler:
Religious Annulments can be obtained utilizing many of those same Civil Annulment excuses, plus this added furry excuse:
“The couple killed the spouse of one of them in order to be free to marry.”
I love religious types.
Once you have your excuse you’ll need a lawyer. This is because you need more actual proof than is typically required for an uncontested divorce. And maybe that lawyer will be cute and god willing over the age of 18 and not related to you by blood or on death row or a crazy lying drunk or one of those religious types who kills someone’s spouse in order to marry them – and you and the annulment lawyer will live happily ever after.