31 Jan Annulment in South Carolina
Annulment in South Carolina, though less frequent than divorce, is still a common path to consider if you qualify. To understand whether an annulment is a right path for your case, there are some basics you should first understand about the differences between annulments and divorce, grounds for an annulment, and the process for an annulment.
Annulment vs. Divorce
Whereas a divorce terminates your marriage, an annulment in effect declares your marriage null and void as if it never occurred to begin with. Property division in an annulment versus a divorce is usually handled in the same way. Moreover, any children born to an annulled marriage are still considered legitimate if at least one parent entered into the marriage “in good faith.”
Grounds for an Annulment in South Carolina
There are limited grounds for seeking an annulment in South Carolina. In order for a party to get their marriage annulled, they will have to prove one of the following grounds exists:
- One or both spouses is under 16
- One spouse was married to another person at the time of the marriage
- One or both spouses was mentally incapacitated
- The parties were unable to consummate the marriage
- The parties are too closely related by blood
- The marriage happened under a fraudulent misrepresentation essential to the relationship
- One or both spouses was under duress
Filing for an Annulment in South Carolina
In South Carolina, in order to initiate an annulment, you will first need to complete a Complaint for Annulment in the local circuit court in the county where your spouse lives. South Carolina courts have what is known as a “residency requirement,” which provides that you must live in South Carolina for at least one year prior to filing for an annulment. In addition to satisfying the residency requirement, your initial Complaint must contain the following:
- The date and location (city, state, and county) you were married
- What county/counties you and your spouse currently live in
- The names and birthdates of any children you have with your spouse
- Which of the above-listed grounds qualifies you for an annulment
- Your proposed division of assets, liabilities, and custody issues
After you file your initial Complaint with the proper court, the next step is to ensure your spouse is served with a copy. Once he or she is served, they will have 30 days to find a lawyer before the court will set a hearing on your complaint. After the 30 days have elapsed, the court will hold a hearing in front of a judge. You will have to present and prove the legal grounds for your annulment. Accordingly, in preparation for this hearing, you will want to gather any evidence you have in support of this legal ground.
Get Help From a Mount Pleasant, SC Annulment Lawyer
Deciding if annulment is the right path for you can be a difficult decision. The experienced family law attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC can help you walk you through your options and find the path that is best suited for your case.
Contact us today for a free case review.