Marriage annulment is not like divorce. A divorce officially ends a marriage. Two people that are legally family members are ending their union. The record shows that they were married for a certain period, and then they chose to dissolve it.
Marriage annulment doesn’t necessarily end a marriage. It’s better to think of it as erasing a marriage. Something makes the marriage invalid. For example, one partner lied about their identity, tricking the other into the union. According to your legal record, the marriage never really happened after it is annulled.
If the law treats the marriage like it never existed, what, then, happens to the children? One can assume that both parents contributed to their well-being, so how does the court handle child support?
Generally, the former couple is treated like single, unmarried parents.
Child Support After Annulment
After an annulment, the spouses are treated as if they were always single. However, courts are also more concerned about the welfare of a child than of adults. If there are children in the marriage, the court will probably order child support just to keep the kids fed and clothed.
Child support is generally pragmatic, based solely on the needs of the children and the means of the parents. The court will consider each parent’s income and make its decisions from there. Remember, both parents spend money on child support.
Marriage annulments, however, don’t have “one size fits all” solutions, which is often the case in a divorce. Many annulments are the result of some kind of deceit. The court could order one party to spend more than they normally would as a way of compensating the injured party.
Parents may have the option to make their own child support arrangements as well, just as any unmarried parents would.
What About Child Custody?
Unless the court finds that one of the parents is unfit, both will leave the marriage with full, legal parenthood.
As a result, these parents can create a custody plan, or the court could do it for them. The same is true for any legal parents who never married one another.
The parenting plan decides on things like joint custody, visitation, and so on. Remember, the court is interested in the best interests of the children. The kids may have been shielded from the issues that made the marriage invalid. If the court believes that having both parents is best for them, it will be willing to allow each parent to remain involved.
A good parenting plan is very specific. It not only details who will have the children when, but it also should reach down into the smallest details of how this works. The plan should designate times and locations for pick-ups and drop-offs. If long-distance travel is necessary, the plan will outline financial obligations and other responsibilities.
The plan will also provide legal custody, or decision-making powers. It will detail which parents have authority over education and healthcare, and it will designate exactly how much power each parent has.
Nelson, Taylor & Associates, PLLC is here to help with any aspect of your marriage annulment. You can reach our office by calling (801) 901-7046 today, or you can schedule time with us online.