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What is an annulment?

An annulment is a legal document that says your marriage was not a valid marriage. There are other ways to end a marriage, such as separating from your partner, or filing for a divorce. However, an annulment is not a way to end a marriage. Instead, it is an official document that states the marriage did not exist in the first place.

As outlined on the Alberta government website, there are certain criteria that must be met in order to qualify for an annulment. Among the reasons are that you were already married to someone else, meaning you could not marry a second person. Another reason could be that you entered the marriage under duress or pressure, meaning you did not enter it under your own free will.

If you believe that your current marriage is invalid, it’s best advised to consult with an experienced family lawyer. Some of the other requirements for an annulment, such as impairment due to intoxication, or a case of mistaken identify, may be harder to prove in court. A legal professional will be able to assess the facts of your case, and help you determine if your situation qualifies for an annulment. If you do not qualify for an annulment, you may have to file for a divorce in order to end the marriage.

Religious institutions may have other rules on annulments or divorces, but it’s important to recognize that those are not legal rules.

A legal professional will also be able to advise you on how best to protect your legal rights and financial interests regarding property and finances if both parties have already started to share assets. Also, if children are involved, then you may need to apply child support guidelines as well as negotiate terms of custody and access, and possibly a parenting plan.

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