How Long After A Wedding Can You Get An Annulment

The answer to how long after a wedding can you get an annulment depends on many factors. We will also discuss the grounds for getting annulled and how soon you can obtain it. 

Annulments differ in how fast you can get them, and many reasons affect the waiting period. This article will share all the common FAQs to help you understand them and how to obtain an annulment smoothly.

And if you know a couple who decided not to go through with the wedding, to begin with, you can read what to say to someone who canceled their wedding


Here’s How Long After A Wedding Can You Get An Annulment

The time when you can get an annulment after a wedding depends on the specific annulment laws of your state. In some places, you can’t apply for the marriage to be annulled after a certain period. 

In California, the deadline when you can file for an annulment is dictated by why you want to get annulled. For example, if you were married under the age of 18 and you’re filing for an annulment because of this reason, you can get an annulment as soon as four years after turning 18. 

You must consult your lawyer regarding why you want to get an annulment to know the expected time you can wait before filing. In most cases, you can ask for annulment within the first five years of the marriage. 


What Qualifies A Marriage For Annulment?

You must understand the grounds for a civil annulment before you get one. How soon or how long annulments take will depend on your reason for filing. 

Here are some of the examples, so you can check if your reason is included as a grounds for annulment:

  • The other person is proven to be too young to consent to the marriage
  • Your spouse has lied about being capable of having children
  • When the other person is already married when they married you or bigamy
  • An incestuous relationship where you are married to a blood relative 
  • The spouse is proven to have an unsound mind 
  • If you are coerced or threatened into the marriage

Please note that you must check the annulment laws of your state. This is because each state has grounds for annulment, and you must prove yours for your annulment to be approved. 


Are 5 Years Separation Grounds For Annulment?

It’s not enough to wait five years of being married before filing for an annulment. Remember that you must prove that you are filing on grounds that qualify for your annulment, depending on your state. 

In some places, you can ask for annulment within the first five years of the marriage due to a lack of physical capacity to consummate the marriage. You can also file on the grounds of the partner’s incurable mental illness for five years or more. 


How soon can you file for an annulment?

In some states, you have to file for annulment within four years of discovering or proving grounds for annulment. For example, those filing on the grounds of fraud have to file within four years of discovering the fraud. 

If you were forced to consent to the marriage, the same period is recommended to file for annulment. The same applies if you’re filing for physical incapacity. 

On the other hand, you can file for annulment on the grounds of bigamy while the other person’s spouse for the first marriage is still alive. You can also file any time if you’re filing based on the spouse’s unsound mind. 


How Many Months Does Annulment Take?

It’s hard to mention a specific timeline on how long the annulment process will take. But in general, you can assume that it will be around 16 months. 

The duration of the process depends on many factors such as the document and when the judge decides if the marriage was invalid, to begin with. Regardless, expect that you and your spouse will be notified of the decision. 


Is Annulment Better Than Divorce?

If your reason for filing is grounds for annulment, you may find it the better option than divorce. Understand that annulment means that the marriage was null, to begin with, while divorce is when you and your spouse acknowledge that the marriage existed. 

Another reason why divorce can be more difficult is because of the potential financial setbacks such as alimony and property distribution. With an annulment, on the other hand, everything will be restored to how they were pre-marriage. 


Why Would An Annulment Be Denied?

  • You don’t have grounds for annulment; therefore, the marriage is valid, and you need to receive a divorce instead 
  • Failure to meet eligibility requirements

You can ask for a reconsideration within a short period after you’re notified of the decision. It’s best to find an expert attorney on established divorce. 


How Much Does An Annulment Cost?

Expect to spend a thousand dollars and up for an annulment. 



Was this guide helpful? To recap how long after a wedding can you get an annulment, it’s usually within 4 to 5 years of marriage. 

However, you must be filing on the grounds of annulment to ensure that it won’t be denied. Check the laws specific to your state and consult a lawyer with such expertise. 

As for couples experiencing doubts before walking down the aisle, read how to deal with pre-wedding anxiety

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