I've been married for 4 1/2 yrs. Shortly after the marriage began, I learned my husband was an alcoholic who had served time in jail for domestic battery. I stayed married to him after he was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver because he had no one and at the time he stopped drinking. He relapsed late 2015. One month ago he tried to assault me in a drunken rage. He was committed to a mental institution but has since been released. A judge has ordered a 1 1/2 year protective order for me. Husband is now homeless. I am and have always been the breadwinner. He has not worked in 3 years. He has no assets and I own our home in my name only. There are no children and all of the property is mine. My question is: Is it possible to obtain an annulment? I knew this person as a kid and he completely misrepresented himself to me from another state when we "got back in touch". My belief is that he portrayed that person that I used to know and I know he withheld his extensive record of DUIs and the spousal battery. I feel it was an intentional fraud and he has a documented history of mental illness he also withheld. Thank you for any guidance on this question.
It's not an easy answer regarding whether fraud was significant enough to warrant the whole marriage be annulled. They are some pretty serious facts you pose, and only a family law attorney after consulting with you about the whole situation and all other relevant facts can provide you an accurate assessment about a possible annulment.
But it's also to consult with a family law attorney about whether an annulment is appropriate versus a divorce. A divorce may actually protect your interests better than an annulment would.
This answer provides general advice and should not be understood as to create an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and the responding attorney.
If the conviction was for a felony and you were unaware of it when you married him that *might* be enough. In my experience annulments are hard to prove and the Court can be very picky. If you are unwilling or unable to wait for a years separation to file a divorce action, one approach would be to file for annulment (assuming you have grounds) and as an alternative ground, in case you are unable to obtain an annulment, ask for a divorce from bed and board - essentially a court ordered separation - on the grounds of cruelty, i.e. domestic abuse, or desertion. This way, you could have him served with the papers now and if you are unable to prove your annulment case have alternative grounds for a final divorce when you are separated for a year.
As you have no children, you could also try to have him sign a property settlement agreement settling any potential property claims, minimal as it might be, and reduce the waiting period to six months.
Whether or which of these options may be right for you requires a lot more detail and careful consideration. I encourage you to speak with a competent domestic relations attorney as soon as possible to review these or other options that your particular facts and situation may warrant.
This response is for general informational purposes and not intended to be taken as legal advice nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. See further disclaimers on the site. You should always seek competent professional advice in the legal area and jurisdiction.
This is a difficult situation you are in and while I can see why you would want an annulment, I believe it will be difficult for you based on the facts as you present them.
Based on your question, you had the opportunity to obtain an annulment based on potential fraud and assuming his jail time was a felony, a hidden felony conviction. However, you acquiesced and chose to stay in the marriage for 4 1/2 years. The court will look at the duration from the moment you knew of the issues and how long you stayed in the marriage.
While I can't guarantee you couldn't obtain one, I think it's an uphill battle. You should seek advice from an experienced divorce attorney.
Without children, you should be able to obtain a divorce in 6 months living separate and apart. Again, please find a good divorce attorney that can help you through the process and protect your rights and assets.
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