Dheeraj Singh’s** wedding had been arranged by his parents, like so many others in our country are arranged everyday. His to-be-wife seemed like a kind, smart young woman who didn’t say too much. The roof came crumbling down on the marriage, a mere week after the wedding; when she told him that she was already married. She only married Dheeraj** under immense pressure from the parents and now that her first husband was back she would be leaving. Understandably, this left Dheeraj** bewildered. The mental trauma and the societal stigma was enhanced by the complete lack of understanding about his choices for the future. How was he going to get a divorce, since clearly he wasn’t even married?
How is an annulment different from a divorce?
A divorce is the process of dissolving a marriage, one that was considered legal in the eyes of the law. Under the Hindu Marriage Act, a marriage is considered void if either one of the spouses is already married. Since this act doesn’t recognise bigamy, there needs to be a legal declaration of nullity by the courts. In case of an annulment, the legal system treats the marriage as if it never existed.
The law provides various conditions under which a person can approach the court for the annulment of a marriage. In addition to bigamy, if either one of the spouses are underage, unsound of mind or unable to provide explicit consent at the time of the ceremony, the marriage is considered to be null and void. The laws also extends the option to people who have by no fault of their own gotten married within their family (closer than second cousin). Some other, harder to prove cases for annulment also include fraud or coercion, impotency and being mentally challenged.
So where does this leave Dheeraj?
Dheeraj found out about his wife’s bigamy very early on, however there is no time limit on filing for an annulment, a person can approach the courts at any time. The procedure for getting an annulment is simpler as compared to that of a divorce. At getmeadivorce.com our legal experts and consultants have handled numerous cases just like Dheeraj’s. Often young people agree to arranged marriages under pressure from their families, knowing fully well that what they’re doing is not right. On the other hand, family’s of mentally challenged individuals also hide their afflictions, in the vain hope that the marriage will fix the condition. Both these approaches are wrong, and end up ruining the lives of everyone involved. If you or a loved one, is in this position, consult our legal experts. They have years of experience behind them and can help you get out of a bad marriage. Situations like this often seem too hard and leave you feeling like you have no options left. Remember – that is never true, there are enough safeguards built into our Family Laws that will work in your favour. Talk to us, we guarantee total privacy and confidentially. getmeadivorce.com is here to listen, advise and to help you start a new life.
** Names have been changed to protect privacy.