At the David W. Martin Law Group, our South Carolina divorce attorneys understand that when spouses know within months that they may have misjudged their compatibility and their marriage will not work out, they look for quick ways to put the relationship behind them.
Some are under the misnomer that if their marriage lasts fewer than six months, they may qualify for annulment. In South Carolina, an annulment is a legal process that declares a marriage null and void as if it never existed.
Where the confusion lies is that the grounds for annulment in South Carolina are limited and generally more restrictive than those for divorce. Here, we discuss the criteria.
How Does a South Carolina Marriage Qualify for an Annulment?
To qualify for an annulment in South Carolina, you must meet one of the following criteria:
If one of the spouses was already married to someone else at the time of the current marriage, the second marriage can be annulled.
- Fraud or Duress
An annulment may be granted if one spouse was induced into the marriage through fraud, misrepresentation, or under pressure and would not have married the other party if not for these factors.
- Lack of Mental Capacity
If one of the spouses lacks the cognitive ability to understand the nature of the marriage contract and the duties and responsibilities that come with it, the marriage may be annulled.
If one of the spouses is physically incapable of consummating the marriage and the other spouse did not know about this condition before getting married, an annulment may be granted.
- Underage Marriage
If one or both spouses were under the age of consent at the time of marriage — usually 16 years old in South Carolina — and the marriage was not subsequently ratified after both parties reached the legal age, an annulment is possible.
- Incestuous Marriage
An annulment can be granted if the marriage is between close blood relatives, like siblings or first cousins.
It is important to note that annulments in South Carolina can be more complex and more challenging than divorces, and not all marriages that have encountered problems can be annulled.
Contact Our Dedicated South Carolina Family Law Attorneys Today
Call 803-548-2468 or contact us online to understand your specific situation and whether you qualify for an annulment under the state’s laws and to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the best outcome for your unique case by partnering with our dedicated South Carolina family law attorneys at the David W. Martin Law Group today.