The term “annulment” means that the marriage at issue is considered a nullity. In some ways, this can be thought of as if the marriage never existed at all. There may be various situations that give rise to one of the parties to the marriage seeking an annulment, including reasons that are not shameful or immoral. For example, one party to the marriage may have been too young to legally marry in the first place. If an annulment is available, a question that the parties to the former relationship may consider is whether they, or the other, are entitled to spousal support. In Virginia, whether a person is entitled to receive spousal support and equitable distribution (property rights) in the context of an annulment is based upon whether the marriage was “void” or voidable.” For a more detailed understanding of the specific terms in Virginia, your local Virginia Beach Family Lawyer is your best resource.
Practically speaking, permanent spousal support and property rights are not routinely awarded when the marriage is annulled. If there is a law that treats property rights or support differently in a certain context or situation, then the results may differ. There is an exception to the general notion of lack of marital rights in light of an annulment, which is explained further below. If you have questions about your relationship, marriage, or former spouse, then you may want to consider speaking with an experienced Virginia Beach Family Lawyer.
Although annulments are sometimes thought of as being similar to divorce, it is important not to confuse the two terms. The rights of the parties will vary drastically, depending upon how the marriage was dissolved. Despite the general consensus that marital rights are not awarded upon annulment, an “innocent” spouse may in fact be entitled to permanent spousal support and property rights. This is an example of a statute providing such rights, as was discussed in the preceding paragraph. The complexities that arise when emotions intersect with finances can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety. Your Virginia Beach Family Lawyer can ensure that you get all the support payments that the law permits you to receive.
See Va. Code Ann. § 20-107.1-3
See Henderson v. Henderson, 187 Va. 121 (1948).