Family Law Is All We Do

Annulments in Michigan

In Michigan, a legal annulment is not based upon the length of time you have been married. 

A legal annulment in Michigan is based upon either

  • the inability to marry at the time of the marriage, or
  • fraud in the contract of marriage.

Most of the grounds for an annulment in Michigan are difficult to prove and few marriages in Michigan actually qualify for an annulment.

In order for the Court to grant an annulment in Michigan,

  • the requesting party must prove the grounds for an an annulment,
  • the Court must decide that the grounds for an annulment were proven and that there never was a legal marriage.

Attorney Ellen Paynter is experienced in annulment cases in Michigan.  Contact our office to discuss if you might be eligible to be awarded an annulment, rather than a divorce.

What are the grounds for an Annulment in Michigan?

  • INCAPACITY DUE TO AGE:  One of the parties was under age the age of 16 when they married.  MCL 551.51  One of the parties was under the age of 18 without permission of parent or guardian when they married. MCL 551.103 & MCL 552.34
  • PROHIBITIVELY RELATED:  The parties are too closely related or the same sex. MCL 551.3 & MCL 551.4
  • SAME SEX: Persons are the same sex cannot marry in Michigan. MCL 551.272, MCL 551.3 & MCL 551.4
  • BIGAMY: One of the parties was already married to someone else when you married. MCL 551.5 & MCL 552.1
  • INCAPACITY DUE TO A MENTAL CONDITION: One party was legally incapable of entering into a contract when they married.  MCL 552.1 & MCL 552.36
  • PHYSICAL INCAPACITY: One of the parties is unable to have children, discovered after the marriage, and must be brought within two years of the marriage. MCL 552.39
  • CONSENT OBTAINED UNDER DURESS: One of the parties was forced into the marriage when they married.
  • CONSENT OBTAINED BY FRAUD IN THE CONTRACT OF THE MARRIAGE: One of the parties knowingly failed to disclose that he/she could not have children; One of parties concealed a criminal record of a crime of moral turpitude; One of the parties entered into the marriage with the intention to commit immigration fraud; One of the parties did not know they were actually marrying at the time of the marriage.
  • CONCEALED INTENT: One of the parties concealed that they never intended to have sexual intercourse.  One of the parties refuses to consummate the marriage. One of the parties entered into the marriage as a joke.
  • IMPROPER CEREMONY:  The person who preformed the ceremony lacked legal authority to perform marriages.
  • OTHER REASONS: Other reasons that have to do with the ability of a party to freely consent to the marriage, foreign law violations and other reasons that have to do with the validity of the marriage.

What are NOT grounds for an Annulment in Michigan?

  • LENGTH OF MARRIAGE: The length of a marriage is NOT a ground for an annulment.  If you are married for only one hour, one day, one week, one month or one year you are not entitled to an annulment in Michigan unless one of the above ground exist and can be proven in Court.
  • NOT HAVING LIVED TOGETHER: Even if you have not lived together since the marriage, one of the above grounds must exist and be proven in Court in order to be awarded an annulment.
  • BUYERS REMORSE:  Finding out after the marriage that you don't like your spouse, your spouse doesn't have as much money or income as you thought, or finding out he or she is just not the person you thought, are NOT grounds for an annulment.

Isn't it easier to get an Annulment than a Divorce in Michigan?

It is NOT easier to get an annulment than a divorce in Michigan. 

To receive an annulment in Michigan, you must file a complaint, have the other party served and do all the other steps required in a divorce PLUS you have to PROVE the grounds for the annulment. 

Since most annulments require litigation to PROVE the grounds of the annulment, they can be much more expensive to pursue than a divorce.

Can I contest an Annulment?

If my spouse has filed for an annulment, and I don't want an annulment can I dispute it?

Yes an annulment can be disputed in the following ways:

  • INABILITY TO PROVE GROUNDS: In order to be awarded an annulment in Michigan, the person requesting the annulment MUST be able to PROVE the grounds alleged.
  • CONTINUED COHABITATION: In certain circumstances, in order to be awarded an annulment in Michigan, if the person requesting the annulment continued to live with their spouse after they have learned of the grounds for the annulment, they could possibly not be granted an annulment
  • PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: In certain circumstances, if the person requesting the annulment was aware of the inability of the other party to marry at the time of the marriage, they could possibly not be granted an annulment in Michigan.

Most parties who file for an annulment in Michigan, also file an alternate claim for a divorce, in case the annulment is not granted.  So, although you may be able to disprove the grounds for an annulment, the marriage can still be dissolved via the divorce.

Does the Court in Michigan divide the parites' assets and debts in an Annulment?

A Court Michigan can award a property settlement in an annulment. 

However, the Court may possibly make a very different property settlement in a case with the same facts depending on whether to case is an annulment or a divorce.

Is the awarding of Alimony different in a Divorce than in an Annulment in Michigan?

Parties to an annulment are not entitled to spousal support (alimony), that they may be entitled to in a divorce. 

However, if a party was receiving alimony from a prior divorce that ceased upon the new marriage, and the new marriage is adjudged annulled, the alimony from the prior marriage may be resumed.

Are the children of a marriage considered illegitimate after an Annulment in Michigan?

No. In Michigan, children born during a marriage that is later annulled are considered legally legitimate children of the parties.

How are custody, parenting time and child support issues determined in an Annulment in Michigan?

The Court will determine custody, parenting time and child support issues just like in a divorce case in Michigan.

Can I still get an annulment in my religion?

Even if you are awarded a divorce, rather than a legal annulment, your religion may provide some form of a religious annulment.

Do you have questions or would you like to make an appointment? Call us at 248-851-7555 or use our contact form.

Paynter & Associates

Main Office

7071 Orchard Lake Road

Suite 245

West Bloomfield, Michigan 48322

Satellite Office

100 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 200

Troy, Michigan 48084


Phone 248-851-7555

Fax 877-877-7955



SKYPE available upon request


Weekdays:  9am to 5pm.

Early Morning: By appointment only.

Evenings: By appointment only.

Weekends: By appointment only.

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