You can seek an annulment after a marriage, which is a legal way of making it so that the marriage never actually existed. This is different than a divorce, and there are time constraints.
Exactly how long you have to get the annulment, though, depends on the reason why you’re asking for it. We’ll look at a few potential reasons below, though this is not an exhaustive list:
No capacity to consent
In rare cases, one person doesn’t have the mental capacity to consent to the marriage. Even though they did consent, they can use this as grounds for an annulment. A common example is someone who is impaired by drugs or alcohol. In this case, you have 90 days to file for the annulment.
An underage marriage with no parental consent
Those who are 16 or 17 years of age can sometimes marry with parental consent. However, if they get married without that consent, it is illegal and an annulment can be saught. This can be done until the party turns 18 years of age and would no longer need that consent anyway.
The marriage can’t be consummated
If you got married and your partner physically can’t consummate that marriage, you can seek an annulment. You have a year to do so, starting whenever you discover that your partner lacks this ability. This could be later than the date of the marriage in some cases.
What if you don’t qualify?
If you do not qualify for an annulment on the grounds listed above, then you may need to seek a divorce. Don’t worry; there are always ways to end a marriage. You just need to know what legal steps to take to protect your interests.