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Should I get an annulment instead of a divorce?

In Pennsylvania, you can petition the court for an annulment or a divorce. Some people may believe that the only time an annulment is needed is after a particularly romantic trip to Las Vegas. However, that's not quite the truth. An annulment can help you in some ways that a divorce may not.

An annulment was once used by some couples to avoid having to lie and use one of the "faults" as the reason for the divorce. However, all 50 states now allow no-fault divorces, so an annulment is often used instead of a divorce by separating couples.

In order to get an annulment, you have to show the court that you now know something that you didn't know before you got married that would have made you call off the wedding.

An example would be that your spouse had changed his or her mind about wanting to have children. After you two were married, your spouse decided that he or she no longer wanted to have any children. You would not have married him or her if you had known that. This is when an annulment can be used.

Many people also don't want to live with the stigma of having gone through a divorce. It doesn't carry as much of a stigma as it did several decades ago, but there are people who don't want to have to say they are divorced when technically they aren't.

For other couples, it has to do with their religion. For example, if you want to get remarried and you are Catholic, you will need to have the church annul your marriage. While it is okay to get a divorce and a religious annulment in order to remarry in the church, some people want to ensure that their previous marriage was annulled.

For the most part, legal annulments are for marriages that were very short. If this is something that you want to learn more about, you can get answers from an experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney.

Source: Lifehacker, "When to Get an Annulment Instead of a Divorce," Leigh Anderson, June 30, 2017

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