Wisconsin annulment requirements & guidance
Annulment vs Divorce in Wisconsin
Like a divorce, an annulment will effectively end a marriage. Unlike a divorce, an annulment declares the marriage never to have existed in a legal capacity, and the union is then considered invalid and void, freeing you from lengthy divorce proceedings and enabling you to more quickly move towards your new life path. However, a judicial proceeding must be held before a court will grant an annulment.
|Annulment vs Divorce in Wisconsin||Annulment||Divorce|
|Any debts accumulated during the marriage will be split evenly||Yes||No|
|Can be filed at any time in the marriage||No, must be filed within 1 year||Yes|
|Invalidate prenuptial and postnuptial agreements||Yes||Sometimes|
|Waiting period for separation||No||Yes, 120 days|
|Waiting period for remarriage||No||Yes, 6 months|
|Legally “erases” marriage||Yes||No|
|A judge may order stipulations on property, child custody and visitation, as well as alimony and property division||Yes||Yes|
|Children from the marriage are still considered legitimate and can inherit from and are entitled to support from both parents||Yes||Yes|
|Property and debts will be assigned to the rightful owner, as before the marriage||Yes||Rarely|
|Available with no-fault/cause||No, there must be a qualification||Yes, Wisconsin is a no-fault state|
|Residency requirements||Yes, 30 days in the state||Yes, 30 days in the county, 6 months in state|
Wisconsin annulment qualifications
To get an annulment in Wisconsin, your marriage has to fit within one of these categories:
- Underage – a spouse was too young to consent to marriage
- Mental Incapacity – a spouse was impaired at the time of marriage and didn't understand what was happening (this includes marriage while intoxicated)
- Force or duress – a spouse was forced or otherwise coerced into getting married
- Fraud – a spouse lied about something essential to the marriage
- Impotence – a spouse is unable to sexually perform
- Bigamy – a spouse already has a living husband or wife
- Incest – the spouses are too closely related to legally marry
- Recently divorced – the marriage took place within 6 months of one spouse's divorce
Schedule a free consultation with Divergent Family Law to help you review the merits of your case and inform you of whether or not an annulment is a possible path for you worth taking.
How to file for an annulment in Wisconsin
If you meet the above qualifications for annulment, you can begin the filing process if you also meet these requirements:
- You must have lived in Wisconsin for at least thirty days
- You must file in the circuit court where you or your spouse live
- Filing for an annulment can only take place within a year of the marriage date
If a marriage is being annulled because a spouse is underage, a parent or guardian may file the annulment on their behalf. A parent or guardian may also act in cases of mental incapacity.
The actual process is like a divorce, in which a Summons and Petition must be filed with the court. The court will then set hearings to determine if the marriage is eligible for an annulment.
Like a divorce, you can ask in your petition for things you’d like the judge to decide and order. At Divergent Family Law, we have the expertise to help you manage your way through this process and protect what’s yours and help you move on as quickly and effectively as possible. Since you only have a year to file, you’ll want our professional guidance.
What about child custody, child support and property division?
After filing, the circuit court will then hold a hearing to decide if the marriage is eligible for an annulment. If awarded, the judge will then move on to deciding the issues listed in your petition. Even if the marriage is annulled, children between the two parties will still be considered. Child custody, placement, and support will all be addressed by the court.
Similarly, with respect to maintenance and property division, an annulment is treated the same as a divorce under Wisconsin law. This means that one spouse can seek support from the other and division of marital property rules apply.
The all-inclusive Wisconsin family law firm
Our awarded legal team will be with you every step of the way to ensure you retain what’s yours and get you what you are entitled to.
Divergent Family Law can help you at any step of the Wisconsin divorce process including:
- Filing a petition
- Temporary orders
- Child custody and placement
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Courtroom trial