So you recently got married, but you realized it’s not going to work out.
You’re probably wondering about getting an annulment in Georgia.
In this article, we’re going to go over everything pertaining to an annulment in Georgia.
I have made a table of contents so that it’s easier to navigate everything you need to know about how to annul a marriage.
- Getting Annulment In Georgia
- What Is Annulment Meaning?
- How to Get An Annulment
- Grounds for Annulment
- How Much Does An Annulment Cost?
- When Can You Get An Annulment?
- Difference Between Annulment vs Divorce
So, let’s dig into getting an annulment in Georgia.
Getting An Annulment In Georgia
Marriage annulments are slightly difficult to obtain in Georgia.
Georgia divorce laws are not in favor of marriage annulment.
The divorce courts will need strong proof before they grant an annulment of marriage.
If you have children or are pregnant getting a divorce, then an annulment is impossible.
You would have to get a divorce in Georgia in this case.
What Is Annulment Meaning?
So, what does annulment mean?
What does an annulment do for you?
An annulment is a legal procedure that cancels your marriage.
A marriage annulment erases legal records of the marriage.
Getting an annulment declares that the marriage never existed.
Annulments of marriage also mean that the marriage was never valid.
The definition of annulment is “a judicial or ecclesiastical pronouncement declaring a marriage invalid.”
That definition does really help us understand what does annulment mean.
As always, the language is terrible.
Let’s break down the annulment definition.
- Ecclesiastical means relating to the Christian Church.
- Judicial means per the law.
- Pronouncement means a declaration with authority.
So, the annulment definition is:
How to Get An Annulment
So, you think you are eligible for an annulment in Georgia.
But you’re still not sure how to get an annulment.
If your situation meets the grounds for annulment, then you stand a chance of getting an annulment.
You or your spouse have the right to petition for a marriage annulment.
Let’s say you have minors who have married without parental consent.
In this case, the parents can file for an annulment in Georgia.
A marriage annulment in Georgia follows the same processes as divorce in Georgia.
And just like the divorce process in Georgia, you will be:
- Filing for an annulment
- Serving the spouse marriage annulment papers
- Getting a response from the served spouse
If you are trying to get an annulment in Georgia, it’s a good idea to chat with an annulment lawyer first.
Even though annulments usually happen on shorter marriages, some of the issues are:
- child custody in Georgia
- child support in Georgia
- splitting of assets in Georgia
- splitting of debts in Georgia
- property settlement in Georgia
- alimony in Georgia
How to File Annulment
You have determined you’re eligible to file for an annulment in Georgia.
Now you need to know how to file for an annulment in Georgia.
That is, assuming your annulment lawyer isn’t filing an annulment for you.
First things first.
You need to know what annulment forms you need to file for an annulment.
The papers you need when filing for an annulment are:
- Family Court Cover Sheet
- Complaint for Annulment
- Joint Preliminary Injunction
Family Court Cover Sheet
This form tells the courts basic information about you, your spouse, and your family.
Complaint for Annulment in Georgia
The family court cover sheet tells the judge and your spouse the grounds for annulment.
It also tells them what your goal is with filing for an annulment.
Things included on this complaint for annulment form are:
- The grounds for annulment (reasons for annulment)
- The desired child custody and visitation schedule
- How much child support is needed (Georgia Child Support Calculator)
- If you want to change your name back.
- If your marriage annulment gets denied, do you want a divorce?
Summons for Annulment
This tells your spouse that you have filed for an annulment.
They have 30 days to respond to the annulment.
If they miss this deadline, the annulment may go into default.
This means that the judge will grant you the terms you requested in the Complaint for Annulment.
Joint Preliminary Injunction
An injunction is a court order in this instance.
When you are filing an annulment, you can also file this injunction.
The joint preliminary injunction keeps you and your spouse from:
- hiding, selling, or disposing of property
- canceling or changing the beneficiaries of retirement accounts or insurance plans
- harassing each other, the children, relatives, or family pets
- relocating children outside of the state without written permission
As soon as the Joint Preliminary Injunction gets filed, you and your spouse cannot do any of the things mentioned.
File For An Annulment
The cost of an annulment when you are filing for an annulment on your own depends on where you live.
For example, if you get an annulment in Atlanta, the Fulton County Superior Court will charge you $225.
For how to file an annulment, you can mail in your money order with the annulment forms or drop them off in person.
Grounds for Annulment
In Georgia, you can get an annulment of marriage if your marriage is ‘void.’
A void marriage means that it:
- is prohibited by law
- never had the potential to be valid
An annulment in Georgia can be initiated by either spouse.
The spouse filing for an annulment must prove that they have met the annulment requirements.
The grounds for annulment, or reasons for annulment, are the following:
- Marriage Prohibited By Law: The spouses are too closely related, which is considered incestuous.
- Mental Illness: Either spouse was mentally ill at the time of marriage.
- Mental Incapacity: Either spouse was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They were not able to make an informed consent.
- Bigamy: Either spouse was already legally married to another person at the time of marriage.
- Forced Consent: One of the spouses was forced or threatened. They entered into the marriage under duress.
- Fraud: The spouses consented to the marriage because of coercion or fraud.
- Underage Marriage: One spouse was underage and the parents’ did not consent to the marriage.
The grounds for annulment are sometimes referred to as the annulment requirements.
Even if any of the situations above apply to you, getting an annulment in Georgia may still be hard.
It depends on how you handled the situation you’re dealing with.
For example, let’s assume that you are trying to get an annulment in Georgia because of fraud.
If you continued to live with your spouse after you found out about the fraud, you ratified the marriage.
When you ratify the marriage, you won’t get an annulment in Georgia.
You chose to waive your complaint by living with the person who wronged you.
This is why they won’t give you a marriage annulment (even if you meet the annulment requirements).
How Much Does An Annulment Cost?
There are several factors that determine how much does an annulment cost.
Those factors are:
- Are you filing for an annulment without a lawyer?
- Are you filing for an annulment with a lawyer?
- Is your spouse going to make you have a contested annulment?
Filing For An Annulment Without An Annulment Attorney
If you’re getting a marriage annulled without a lawyer, how much an annulment cost is pretty cheap.
You will only have to pay the court filing fees.
Filing fees for Superior Courts in Georgia range from $200-$250, depending on the county you live in.
Filing For An Annulment With An Annulment Lawyer
When you file for an annulment in Georgia with an annulment lawyer, it’s the same costs as an uncontested divorce in Georgia.
The average cost of an uncontested divorce in Georgia is about $4,500.
You’d be hiring an annulment lawyer to:
- create the annulment paperwork for you
- file for an annulment
- serve your spouse with the annulment papers
The real benefit here is that you don’t have any slip-ups when getting an annulment.
Your annulment attorney will fill out all the papers correctly.
They will file it in the right location.
They will serve your spouse the papers the right way.
When you file for an annulment on your own, you could easily mess up any of these steps to getting an annulment.
When you do, the judge could throw your case out.
Meaning that you would have to start the annulment process from scratch.
Having A Contested Divorce
Depending on how much your spouse does NOT want to get a divorce, you may end up having a contested divorce.
When they get contested, the cost of divorce in Georgia can be up to $20,000.
You can probably tell, but it’s worth working with your partner to have an amicable divorce.
This can save you tens of thousands of dollars each.
When Can You Get An Annulment?
Wondering when can you get an annulment?
You can get an annulment immediately after you get married.
There is not time limit on when you can get an annulment.
How Long Can You Be Married And Still Get An Annulment?
When it comes to how long can you be married and still get an annulment, there is no time limit.
It doesn’t matter if it’s 5 years, 15 years, or even 45 years later.
As long as you meet the annulment requirements, then getting an annulment is still possible.
Be warned though.
The sooner you try getting an annulment, the better.
The reason being is that it’s easy to forget minor details that will be vital to getting your marriage annulled.
The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to provide evidence for your annulment in Georgia.
Memories fade, witnesses pass away, and details are lost with passing time.
Annulment Time Frame
The annulment time frame is the same as the timeframe that it takes to get a divorce.
The annulment time frame is 30 days after your spouse has been served.
30 days after serving your spouse, your marriage is annulled.
After these 30 days, you are free to remarry whenever you want to.
According to the divorce laws in Georgia, it will be as if you were never married to your spouse.
Annulment Time Limit
There is no time limit to get an annulment.
You don’t even have to go through legal separation in Georgia.
Most people think that the annulment time limit is within the first month of marriage, but this is not true.
Getting an annulment is ONLY tied to the grounds for annulment.
These grounds for annulment determine whether or not your marriage is voidable or not.
If your marriage meets the requirements for annulment, then you can get your marriage annulled 30 years from now.
Difference Between Annulment vs Divorce
Getting an annulment in Georgia is different from getting a divorce in Georgia.
Marriage annulments mean that your marriage was invalid.
With an annulment, there are no legal records of your marriage.
Legally, you were never married when you have your marriage annulled.
When you are filing for divorce in Georgia, the opposite is true.
There are legal records kept of your marriage.
When it comes to major issues of annulment, the court will make decisions on major issues like:
- child support
- child custody
- property settlement
This is the same as divorce.
When you file for an annulment, you have to lay out how you want these issues handled.
If your spouse agrees with you, then the judge will allow it.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on these issues, it becomes contested and the judge may end up deciding for you.
What Is The Main Difference Between Divorce and Annulment?
The main difference between divorce and annulment is how they dissolve the marriage.
A divorce ends a legally VALID marriage.
An annulment ends a legally INVALID marriage.
Divorce: A legal dissolving, termination, and ending of a legally valid marriage.
A divorce ends a legal marriage and declares the spouses to be single again.
Annulment: A legal ruling that erases a marriage by declaring the marriage null and void and that the union was never legally valid.
However, even if the marriage is erased, the marriage records remain on file.
Note that a religious annulment is not a legal dissolution of a civil marriage.
Divorce vs Annulment
So, what are the main differences for divorce vs annulment?
Comparing annulment vs divorce, we get the following:
|Required length of marriage||0 Days||6 months (residency)|
|Marriage legally existed||No||Yes|
|Children considered legitimate||Yes||Yes|
|Division of Property||No||Yes|
|Difficulty to obtain||High||Low|
|Based on grounds||Yes||Maybe|
|Resulting marital status||Single / Unmarried||Divorced|
|Witness / proof required||Yes||No|
As you can see, there are a handful of differences between annulment vs divorce in Georgia.
Over to You
If you want help with your annulment so that the judge doesn’t throw your case out, fill out the form below.
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