Can An Annulment Affect Paternity?
If you are considering pursuing an annulment, it is important to consider the possible implications. An annulment differs from a divorce in that whereas a divorce cites the end of a marriage, an annulment declares that no marriage ever existed. While in most regards this is positive, particularly if fraud has been involved, it can become complicated if you and the spouse from whom you seek annulment have shared children. If you are considering an annulment, it is important to consult with an attorney as the process can become complicated quite quickly. Whereas fault plays almost no role in a divorce hearing unless you assign it, it can be incredibly impactful when it comes to the distribution of property in an annulment proceeding. It is important to have an experienced ally on your side who will fight to represent your interests. If you would like to receive personalized feedback on your case from an experienced Birmingham divorce attorney, contact Peeples Law and schedule a consultation today.
How Annulments Impact Paternity
As explained above, once an annulment is granted it establishes that a marriage never existed. This means that any children who were born during the period of the marriage before the annulment was granted will now have been born out of wedlock. Luckily, this can be fixed. Alabama law specifically provides that children who were born while their mother and father were married or within 300 days of an annulment, paternity will be presumed. In Alabama, if paternity is presumed it becomes incredibly hard to refute. In most cases where there is a presumption of paternity, clear and convincing evidence must be demonstrated to challenge it. In most cases it is difficult even to get an order for a genetic paternity test if paternity is presumed. Another option for handling this complicated paternity technicality is having the annulment court determine paternity at the same time they are resolving the annulment. In short, the fall out following an annulment with regard to paternity is primarily a technicality relating to older stigmas. In reality, an annulment will have little impact on your ability to establish and maintain paternity of your children, even if there are a few more steps involved in doing so. This is also because Alabama ensures that children born out of marriages have the same legal rights as children born within marriages. Children of annulled parents are therefore still entitled to child support and visitation provided the court determines that it is in their best interest. The only thing the court cannot do when it comes to an annulment that they could in a divorce is provide spousal support, since the annulment has negated the idea that you were ever a spouse, you are not entitled to spousal support in an annulment.
Talk to Peeples Law
If you are considering a divorce or annulment in Alabama, it’s important to talk to an experienced divorce lawyer as soon as possible to get a clear sense of your options. The Birmingham divorce attorneys at Peeples Law are ready to help. Contact Peeples Law today to schedule your personalized consultation.