People enter into marriage with the best of intentions: to love and support each other for life. The state of Indiana recognizes that fraud or other conditions can invalidate a marriage entered into with good faith. Indiana residents who meet certain requirements can void their marriage with an annulment. An annulment means that the marriage never existed. An Indiana resident can start life anew as a never-married person by seeking an annulment.
Reside in Indiana or be stationed at a military installation in Indiana. You must live in Indiana for at least six months prior to petitioning for an annulment.
Move out of your residence if you are currently living with your spouse. Indiana courts will not allow an annulment if you continue to live with your spouse.
Determine your grounds for annulment. Indiana law allows annulments when one of the parties was not of legal age at the time of marriage or if one of the spouses was not mentally competent at the time of the marriage. In addition, Indiana grants an annulment when one of the parties engaged in fraud relating to the marriage. Incestuous marriages may also be annulled.
Document your claims for your Indiana annulment. If you or your spouse were underage, get a copy of the relevant birth certificate from the Indiana State Department of Health (see the Resources section of this article for a link). For mental incompetence claims, obtain medical or psychological records. In cases of fraud, find proof of that fraud. For example, if your spouse was not yet legally divorced from a former spouse, get a statement to that effect.
File a petition for Dissolution of Marriage in an Indiana family court to annul your marriage. Annulment cases in Indiana are usually heard in a circuit or superior court, depending on your jurisdiction. The Indiana government website (see the Resources section) has a search-by-county function. Check the site to find the proper court in your county. Some counties have made petitions available online, allowing you to file the petition for annulment yourself. In other counties, you will need to hire a lawyer to handle the filing.
Wait at least 60 days after the initial filing of your annulment petition for your case to be final. Indiana law requires this waiting period for dissolution of marriage. Be aware that the court's schedule will affect when your final hearing occurs. Other delays can result if your former spouse contests your annulment petition. Once your annulment is final, your marriage will no longer exist and you will be free to remarry.
- Children born into a marriage that is annulled are considered legitimate by the state of Indiana. Also, as with divorce, a woman may request her name be changed back to her maiden name as part of the annulment petition.
- Be completely truthful during all stages of the annulment process. Deception will cause delays at best and could result in a perjury charge.