Yes. Kansas laws recognize annulment, divorce, and legal separation as ways to affect your marital relationship. While divorce is the most common way to terminate a marital relationship, an annulment is also an option that may be better for some individuals. The key difference between the two is that a divorce simply ends a marriage while an annulment completely invalidates the marriage.
There are many reasons why someone may prefer an annulment over a divorce such as to avoid admitting they got a divorce or for legal reasons. It is important to realize that an annulment is not commonly available and the regulations surrounding this concept vary by state. Kansas Statutes Annotated (hereinafter, K.S.A.) 23-2702 outlines the reasons the Court must consider in an annulment.
Eligibility Requirements for Annulments in Kansas
Kansas law requires that the Court grant an annulment if the marriage was void at the onset of the marriage or if it is voidable because it was induced by fraud.
If an individual would like to get their marriage annulled instead of filling for divorce in Kansas, there are certain guidelines that must be met. One of the easiest ways to be eligible for an annulment is if the marriage was not legitimate in the first place. The following conditions automatically invalidate a marriage in Kansas:
- Fraud – a spouse was induced into marriage by fraud.
- Incest – the spouses are closely related by blood (marriages between parents and children, including grandparents and grandchildren of any degree, between brothers and sisters of the one half as well as the whole blood, and between uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews, and first cousins are absolutely void.)
- Sham marriage – the spouses had no intent on getting married
- Bigamy – one of the spouses is already married to someone else.
The Court may also grant a decree of annulment if the contract of marriage was induced by mistake of fact, lack of knowledge of a material fact or any other reason justifying rescission of a contract of marriage.
- Mistake: The marriage would not have occurred had the spouses been aware of certain facts.
- Impotence – Spouse A did not know that their spouse was completely impotent.
- Insanity: One of the spouses was incapable of understanding he or she was getting married.
Under this category, the court has discretion to grant an annulment or not. Under the earlier list, the court has no discretion and MUST grant an annulment.
How To Get an Annulment in Kansas
Similar to a divorce, the first step in the annulment process in Kansas is to file a Petition for Annulment in the district court of the county where you reside, the other party resides, or in the county where the other party will be served with summons. The Petitioner, person filing for annulment, will have to provide information to the Court as to why the annulment is appropriate. The other party, likewise, has the ability to provide information to the Court as to why they agree or do not agree with the Court granting an annulment.
When in court, the petitioner must argue their case on why the marriage should be annulled. Based on the evidence and facts of the situation, the judge will then make a decision. If an annulment is granted, both individuals will be considered to have never been married at all. In Kansas, children of annulled individuals must still be supported and cared for appropriately.
Reasons Why an Annulment Could Be Good for You
Annulment may be the right option for you. Typically, people who have strict religious or moral objections to divorce can benefit from an annulment. Additionally, an annulment may prove beneficial to restore the parties’ financial positions back to the way they were before the marriage. Of course, there is only so much that a Court can do in such an instance.
Reasons Why an Annulment Could Be Bad for You
An annulment may not be in your best interest if you will need to request spousal support from the other party. Also, if you are in the middle of an immigration case and your basis for requesting immigration status is based on your marriage to a US citizen then you will not want to obtain an annulment because your case will be denied. Of course, if you are divorced prior to being granted lawful permanent residence then your immigration case can also be denied.
Contact An Attorney Today
There is no reason you should let the process of getting an annulment create any additional stress than what you may already be feeling. There can be many rules and details that can be difficult to keep track of throughout the legal proceedings. Call today to speak with one of our knowledgeable family law attorneys to see how we can help you during this time.