Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage void and invalid from its inception, returning the parties to their pre-marital positions as if the marriage never occurred. In other words, unlike a divorce, an annulment not only ends a marriage. it treats the marriage as if it had never taken place. However, while division of marital property may be part of an annulment, alimony / spousal support is not.

A large number of our divorce clients would like to have their marriages annulled. However, in reality the application of annulments in Georgia is very limited. There are several reasons a person may prefer an annulment over a divorce. For example, an individual may prefer an annulment for religious reasons. Another may choose an annulment to avoid the stigma of divorce. A common reason given for asking for an annulment is to avoid the equitable division of marital property.

Georgia’s Established Laws Setting Forth the Grounds for Annulment. Georgia law provides a short list of strictly applied acceptable grounds for an annulment. A marriage may be annulled in Georgia if a spouse establishes any of the following:

the marriage was obtained by fraud or deceit; examples of fraudulent Inducement Into marriage include:

– the other spouse did not disclosure a pregnancy at the time of marriage
– the other spouse did not disclosure a venereal disease at the time of marriage
– the intention not to assume the duties of a marital relationship
– the other spouse lied about his or her ability to have children
– the other spouse concealed a sexually transmitted disease or an addition to drugs or alcohol
– the other spouse misled you about his or her religious faith
– the spouse lied about being single
– physical incapacity of either spouse
– mental incapacity of either spouse
– one of the parties was under sixteen (16) years of age at the time of the marriage
– the marriage was obtained by force or duress
– your spouse was married to another living spouse (bigamy) at the time you married him or her
– consanguinity between the parties; this is when the spouses are closely related or if either party falls under the prohibited degree of relationship. Examples of “consanguinity between the parties” include marriages between a parent and child or stepchild; or a grandparent and grandchild; or an aunt and nephew; or an uncle and niece.

Under Georgia law you can only obtain an annulment if there are no children born of the marriage. If you have children with your spouse, you cannot receive an annulment. Your marriage can only be ended by divorce.