An annulment is a decision from a trial court that a marriage was not valid in the first place. Courts, including those in Maryland, do not favor granting annulments. In order to prevail in a case in Maryland, a person needs to demonstrate that one of five grounds for annulment exist. These five grounds for annulment in Maryland include consanguinity (meaning the parties are close blood relatives like uncle and niece). Other grounds for annulment are bigamy, undisclosed impotency, mental disability or duress. Maryland law establishes a specific procedure to pursue an annulment.
Request a petition for annulment form from the clerk of the district court in the county where you intend to file your annulment case. You file in the county where you or your spouse reside. Court clerks typically maintain basic forms for people not represented by counsel. In the alternative, seek legal representation to assist you in pursuing an annulment case.
Complete the petition for annulment form. Include your name as well as the name and current address of your spouse. Insert the date and location of your wedding.
Include the specific legal reason why you believe you are entitled to an annulment, as established by the laws of Maryland.
Submit the petition to the clerk of the district court.
Pay the filing fee associated with the petition. The filing fee varies from one jurisdiction to the next. If you are unable to pay the filing fee, you file a poverty affidavit requesting the court to waive that payment.
- Because Maryland courts strongly prefer that a person seek a divorce as opposed to annulment, seriously consider all of your options before proceeding with an annulment. You need to understand that unless you clearly prove one of the statutory grounds for annulment, the district court likely will dismiss your case (or convert it to one for divorce).
- Consider obtaining an attorney to represent you in an annulment case. Although the Maryland State Bar Association will not recommend a specific attorney to assist you, the organization maintains a directory of attorneys in different practice areas. The Maryland State Bar Association is reached at:
- Maryland State Bar Association
- 520 W. Fayette St
- Baltimore, MD 21201
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