Once in a while I receive a call from someone asking about getting an annulment. So, what is an annulment and what does Georgia law say about them?
An annulment of marriage is a judicial declaration that the martial status of the parties is invalid from its intended inception. Georgia law provides that the statutory procedure for annulment of marriages is available for any marriage which is now or later declared void by law. Generally, marriages declared void by law are marriages of persons unable to contract or unwilling to contract or fraudulently induced to contract. Of course, there is one exception. If an otherwise invalid marriage because of fraud, duress or nonage where a child is born or to be born as a result of the fraudulent marriage, the only remedy is divorce.
Georgia law provides that parties to invalid marriages have the option of filing a petition for annulment or a petition for divorce. It is important to note that an annulment is not a divorce; an annulment simply places the parties back to where they were prior to the marriage. The implication of this “non-marriage” is consequences of the marriage, and any division of money, items purchased, etc., are not a consideration of the annulment.