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Novi, MI
42705 Grand River, Suite 201
P: (248) 374-1800

Ann Arbor, MI
2723 South State Street
Suite 150
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
P:(734) 451-1800

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843 Penniman Avenue, Suite 201
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Contact: shaw@eshawlaw.com

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ANNULMENT COMPARED TO DIVORCE IN MICHIGAN

There are some circumstances where a marital union must be dissolved without the need for a divorce. The annulment of marriage is one such instance. An annulment is a judicial determination that a valid marriage did not occur. In Michigan, an annulment applies to, and will dissolve, two categories of marriages, both of which are defined by state statute and contain different grounds for granting the annulment.

Void Ab Initio Annulments

Void Ab Inito annulments dissolve marriages retroactively, meaning that the marriage is declared legally void from the beginning. The legal outcome of the annulment is to treat the marriage as if it never happened.

There are four grounds under which a marriage can be annulled as absolutely void:

If a marriage is absolutely void from the beginning based on one of the above referenced circumstances that existed at the time of the marriage, technically no legal process is required to dissolve the marriage. The mere existence of the requisite circumstance voids the marriage.

The second category of marriages that are dissolved by an annulment are those that are voidable. These marriages are considered to be valid marriages up until the time an annulment is sought.

There are three grounds by statute under which a marriage can be annulled as voidable, and other grounds have been established by the courts pursuant to case law.

Once a complaint for annulment is filed, the case proceeds in a similar fashion to a divorce action under MCL 552.3. Property distribution in an annulment follows the same general principle as in divorce cases. In other words, the court must make an equitable distribution of all of the property based upon the circumstances.

The primary difference between annulments and divorces with respect to property distribution is in the area of spousal support. Permanent spousal support is generally not awarded in annulments, because MCL 552.23 allows for spousal support awards upon the entry of a judgment of divorce or separate maintenance only.

Having the right attorney on your side can relieve your stress during this difficult situation. With over 25 years of divorce experience. We have extensive divorce trial experience. Divorce is a life changing event, it is extremely important to retain the services of an experienced divorce attorney.

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The Shaw Group, P.C., represents clients in Divorce, Child Custody, Alimony, and Family Law Matters throughout Southeastern Michigan, including the communities of Novi, Detroit, Southfield, Livonia, Brighton, Wixom, Warren, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Canton, Plymouth, Westland, Walled Lake, Commerce, Northville, Dexter, Milford, South Lyon, Dearborn, Wayne County, Oakland County, Genesee, County, Washtenaw County and Livingston County.

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