A brief guide to obtaining an annulment of marriage in Alabama
If you are Catholic or maintain a belief system which does not believe in divorce but wish to separate from your spouse, there are other options. However, for many people, obtaining legal annulments of marriage in Alabama will be difficult. There are a certain series of circumstances under which this may be granted. You may legally apply for an annulment of marriage in Alabama if:
• One or both spouses was underage at the time of marriage. In such instances, annulments of marriage in Alabama will be granted if one or both parties was under 14 years of age at the time of the ceremony
• One or both spouses was drunk or otherwise incapacitated during the marriage ceremony. In this case, an annulment of marriage in Alabama will be granted on the grounds that the person could not commit responsibility to the ceremony.
• Someone who discovers that their spouse was already legally married to someone else has grounds for dissolution of the marriage. Annulments of marriage in Alabama will be granted on grounds of bigamy.
• You married someone who misrepresented anything about their identity, finances or other important issues, that person has committed fraud. This means you are eligible to receive an annulment of marriage in Alabama.
• You were pressured into marrying someone under duress, this means you were pressured into doing so. This makes you eligible for annulments of marriage in Alabama.
• You are married to someone who is impotent and you wish to have children. Impotence is grounds for an annulment of marriage in Alabama.
• You may discover that the person you married is directly or closely related to you. Incest or this kind of "consanguinity" are grounds for annulments of marriage in Alabama.
It is important to understand that the Catholic Church does not have legal authority in this area. Because Catholicism does not approve of divorce, you may apply for an annulment of marriage in Alabama through the church. However, if this is granted, you will still be legally married to your spouse. While annulments of marriage in Alabama granted by the Catholic Church may be useful to you personally, they cannot help your legal situation.
However, there are alternatives for people who cannot divorce for religious reasons but wish to separate from their partner. Rather than seeking an annulment of marriage in Alabama, consider applying for a legal separation. This is a process similar to divorce, in which two spouses create an agreement detailing how they plan to handle issues such as:
• Alimony payments
• Child custody
• Visitation rights for the non-custodial parent
• Division of jointly owned property
Even if you are ineligible for annulments of marriage in Alabama, undertaking the legal separation process will allow you to live separately from your spouse and resolve all the same issues that would be settled in a divorce without violating your religious beliefs.