Annulment: Marriage and Joseph F. Smith

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Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is retroactive: an annulled marriage is considered never to have existed. In strict legal terminology, annulment refers only to making a voidable marriage null; if the marriage is void ab initio, then it is automatically null, although a legal declaration of nullity is required to establish this. The process of obtaining such a declaration is similar to the annulment process. Generally speaking, annulment, despite its retrospective nature, still results in any children born being considered legitimate in the United States and many other countries. Annulment is the process by which a Court states that a marriage never legally existed. An annulment must be based on mental illness, fraud, forced consent, physical incapacity to consummate the marriage, lack of consent to underage marriage or bigamy. Children of a marriage annulled for bigamy or mental illness are legitimate. In anullment cases, the court may award custody of children of the marriage and require payment of child support and support of a party. Annulment is different from divorce. But what would happen if the couple decided to separate? Who would be the first to be affected? “Chapter 20: The Eternal Union of Husband and Wife,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 173 The man and woman who are sealed for eternity under the authority of the holy priesthood can, through their faithfulness, attain exaltation in the celestial kingdom of God. Their world, their security and their stability seems to fall apart when their parents divorce FEELINGS

• They worry that their parents don't love them anymore and they feel abandoned. They feel like the parent who left has divorced them too. • They feel powerless and helpless because they can't get their parents back together. They can't speed up or slow down the process. • They feel angry although they may not express their anger. • They often...
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