Can I get an annulment after 4 years or do I have to file for a divorce?

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Can I get an annulment after 4 years or do I have to file for a divorce?

I got married 4 years ago and within 3 weeks of marriage, I never saw her again. She is from Canada and it was a spur of the moment thing. Shortly after she left me, I moved and began my life over again. I have since dated and and become serious with a childhood friend. We plan to get married but the previous marriage is in the way. I have no way of reaching the woman I got married to. Can I get an annulment or do I have to file for a divorce. If I have to divorce where do I file – were I live now or where I used to live and got married?

Asked on September 29, 2011 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) You would most likely have to divorce. It's not just about the passage of time, though more often than not, annulments are sought more quickly than you describe; it's that an annulment is only available when the marriage is either invalid from the start (the spouse was too young; was married to someone else; was mentally incapacitated; etc.) or where there was a significant "fraud" in the marriage (the spouse told you she wanted children, but then admitted that she lied). A spouse leaving or abandoning you is generally grounds for divorce, not annulment.

2) You would file where you live for divorce.

While you can do this yourself, you would be better off seeking a matrimonial attorney's help, and if you do, you should ask again about the annulment--the attorney can evaluate your eligibility for it in light of all the details of your situation. Good luck.


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