What kind of divorce should I get if it’s a short-term marriage?

One of the most commonly asked questions about short-term marriages is the type of divorce people should file for when they get married. The widespread belief is shorter marriages are better handled with an annulment than with a divorce, but that’s not how it works. When your marriage is over, it doesn’t matter how long it lasted if you don’t have a reason to file for an annulment. You can be married for three years, three hours, or three days and still get a divorce because you don’t qualify for an annulment. To help you answer your question, here is the breakdown between an annulment and a divorce.

What is an annulment?

An annulment is a way to end a marriage without turning you into a divorcee. You get to end your marriage, but it’s also erased from your life. It doesn’t even count as a marriage once it’s over. You’re not someone who was previously married, and your next spouse gets to be your first spouse all over again.

To file for an annulment, you don’t have to be married a short time. You can be married for decades and still file for an annulment if you realize that your spouse was not honest with you and you were not invited into your marriage under the correct pretenses.

Your Spouse is A Bigamist – You may file for annulment if you realize your spouse is still legally married to someone else at some point following your own marriage.
One of You Was Not Capable of Making the Decision to Marry – If you went to Las Vegas, drank entirely too much and blacked out before making the decision to get married, you may file for an annulment. You must both have the mental capacity to agree to get married to consider it legal.
You Were Duped Into Getting Married – If your spouse tricked you into getting married, you can ask for an annulment. For example, if your spouse told you he wanted kids but then you found out he didn’t want kids after you were already married, you can get an annulment. If your spouse told you she was pregnant and you married her because you thought you were having a baby but later found out you were not, you may ask for an annulment.

You may not ask for an annulment if your partner cheats, abuses you, or because you decided you simply no longer want to be married. You can see that there is no bearing on these rules and the length of time you are married. You can ask for an annulment after a day if you meet the qualifications, and you can ask for an annulment if you find out 60 years later your husband is still married to his first wife.

You can get divorced the day after your wedding if you realize you don’t love this person and don’t want to be married, but you can’t ask for an annulment for this. Ask yourself what the reason is behind wanting to end your marriage after the short-term, and then decide what works best for you. You should also call an attorney to help you get through this process and understand how your decision works in your favor or against you.