Annulment in Baltimore County – Mallon-Jurisprudence

Posted by Thomas MallonMay 29, 20150 Comments

My wife filed for absolute divorce, but I haven't been served yet. Can we annul the marriage?

Asked about 6 hours ago – Towson, MD

She filed a month ago, requested sheriff to serve papers, but they haven't yet. Can she request the divorce be annulled?


In Maryland you need grounds for a divorce or an annulment.  An Annulment voids the marriage and states it never existed.  This is a very high/difficult test to meet, because the grounds that exist, are similar to the voiding of a contract.  The parties were not married because one party was already married and not yet divorced in the previous marriage (this is the most common reason for an annulment).

In contrast, if the parties had a ceremony and a celebrant performing that ceremony, the marriage is likely valid and therefore cannot be annulled.  If the celebrant was not licensed, it does not matter.  If the parties do not get the state license, it does not matter and even if the parties lacked consent at the time of the marriage, they may have acted sufficiently afterwards to have ratified the marriage and it would then be valid.

So most likely you will have to proceed with a divorce and not an annulment.

 If you want to learn more about Divorce law in Maryland check: