An annulment is an alternative to divorce to end a marriage. The key difference between an annulment and a divorce is that you will be legally considered to never have married at all if you seek an annulment. For example, on legal forms, your marital status will revert to “single” instead of “divorced.” Other aspects of a separation, such as the division of assets, happen the same during an annulment as they do during a divorce. Annulments are predominantly sought by people who hold religious beliefs that make divorce undesirable.
Annulments are granted when one spouse is accused of fraud or misrepresentation, when one spouse claims to have been married with an unsound mind, when one spouse claims to be forced into the marriage, when bigamy or incest is uncovered, or when the couple claims to lack consummation of the marriage.
Sometimes couples mistake an annulment for an uncontested divorce, which is a quicker and easier form of divorce where both parties agree to the terms.
Annulments are exceptionally rare, and require highly specialized circumstances to be valid. A Maryland divorce attorney can provide more information on the matter.