Divorce is a decision that couples rarely make lightly, but once everything is said and done the divorce is finalized couples may reevaluate their choice. If a couple later decide to reconcile and legally reinstate their marriage, the courts of some states will allow the couple to annul their divorce. However, that was not the case for a New Hampshire couple.
After 24 years of marriage, a New Hampshire couple divorced. After some time had passed, they decided that they would prefer to get back together. After reviewing the case, the New Hampshire Supreme Court refused to vacate or annul their divorce. At that point, the couple would be forced to legally remarry. So why would a couple want to annul their divorce instead of simply getting remarried?
Advantages of annulment
Time and expense
When given the option to either annul their divorce or remarry, many couples will find that annulment is more advantageous. When a divorced couple marries for the second time, they must go through the same legal procedure as they did during their first marriage. This can add time and expense to their situation, especially if another wedding ceremony is involved. Alternatively, annulling a divorce is usually a very simple process after which it is as though the divorce legally never happened.
Social Security benefits
The other main advantage to annulling over remarrying has to do with Social Security benefits. Couples are able to earn Social Security benefits over the course of their marriage and the length of their marriage will make them eligible for additional benefits.
If a divorced couple remarries, the period of their marriage legally begins once their second marriage is finalized. This cancels out the amount of time for which they were married during their first marriage. Because of this, it will take them that much longer to become eligible for some Social Security benefits. If their divorce is annulled, it is as if the divorce never happened and the overall period of their marriage continues as if never interrupted.
According to previous court rulings, it seems as though annulling a marriage is not an option for couples in New Hampshire unless their marriage meets certain requirements, such as the couple being too closely related, or one party still being married to another person at the time of the newest marriage.
If you are considering a divorce, it should be considered very thoroughly because a legal reversal of the decision may not be an option. If you have any additional questions regarding requirements for annulment, it is suggested that you contact an experienced legal professional. They will be able to advise and support you as you go about learning more about potential options.