Sometimes one finds themselves in a situation where they may not think they even need to go through the divorce process despite being married. If this belief is correct, the way to go about handling the situation is almost certainly getting an Annulment. On the one hand, there are several different reasons why a marriage may be annulled in South Carolina but often the belief one may hold that the marriage should be annulled does not comply with the statutory grounds for getting an Annulment in South Carolina. The most common misconception about whether one can get an annulment is the idea that if someone has their marriage annulled quickly enough after getting married that this will have an impact on whether the annulment is granted. Although a Court may weigh the length of the marriage in its various considerations while adjudicating various issues brought forth as part of the claim, one can not simply get a marriage annulled if they turn around the week after getting married and decide that they don’t want to be married anymore. Essentially there are seven (7) reasons why someone can file for an Annulment or have their marriage determined to be void in South Carolina. These reasons include the following:
- Multiple marriages, bigamy, polygamy
- Lack of consummation or cohabitation
- Age requirements
- Mental capacity
While these reasons are mostly based on South Carolina law set by statute in SC Title 20 Chapter 1 Article 1, there are plenty of caveats, rules, case law, and interpretations of the above reasons for an Annulment or Void Marriage. For example, when it comes to age requirements, even someone under the age of eighteen (18) can still get married in South Carolina provided the marriage meets certain requirements based on the age; however, one generally may not get married if either of the spouses is under the age of sixteen (16). Another clarification involve duress and fraud. For example, if one spouse insists that she or he is a multimillionaire and even convinces the other spouse of the existence of this financial situation, but when the parties get married, it becomes clear that he or she is not a multimillionaire and instead does not have a penny to his or her name, this will not qualify as a basis for an Annulment in South Carolina. That said, if these spouses were never intimate in any way or if the self-proclaimed multimillionaire was already married in another state, then either of these reasons would most likely constitute valid causes for getting an annulment from the marriage. After one has the annulment ordered by the South Carolina Family Court, then there is also a form that should be filled out properly and submitted to the S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control that can be found at http://www.judicial.state.sc.us/forms/pdf/DHEC0682.pdf
Attempting to pursue an Annulment without the assistance of an attorney can be perplexing. Contact Adam Owensby of The Carolina Firm at (843) 732-2326 to arrange a consultation to discuss your potential Annulment!