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A marriage has a great deal of significance. Getting married for most people means getting married legally in accordance with all laws that govern acceptable forms of marriage. In addition to the choice of civil marriage, many people also opt for the possibility of religious marriage. They may head to a chapel or other religious space to get married. If the marriage is not working out, one party or more may decide to dissolve such bonds. In that case, they may want to get what is known as an annulment. An annulment is a formal agreement from a religious authority. The religious authorities state that the marriage did not take place at all. In the eyes of the religious institution, an annulment means that the marriage was not valid. It means that the person who got married can then be married in church as they are not considered married or divorced.

Legal Issues

The process of filing for an annulment means that one party has gone to their religious organization. A court will decide if the case has merit and the annulment should be granted. The other person involved is not required to be notified nor are they are required to be present during any part of this process. One person can have their annulment and move on. However, what the person filing for an annulment needs to remember is that the issue here is one confined to the religion. It has no bearing on any kind of legal process outside the religious authority. For example, the Catholic church can agree the marriage did not take place. However, any legal authority is not required to take this into account when deciding on any other aspect of the divorce such as custody or any related childcare matters. As the annulment is not a divorce, a grandparent may decide to pursue a form of custody or visitation. The annulment will not affect their legal rights to do so.

Child Support Issues

Anyone who is involved in any kind of child support and custody issue should keep in mind that all children born during the marriage are presumed to be the offspring of both parties. A man may contest paternity and ask for a DNA test. However, even if this test comes back indicating he is not the father, the law considers him to be the father because he has agreed to care for the child over the course of the marriage. In the event of any kind of divorce or separation, he is automatically considered to be part of the couple and automatically entitled to certain rights under law. He can file for primary or joint custody, ask for child support and ask that the other party provide him with child support to care for that child. He can also contest any orders of child support issued by the court and ask that they be changed in some way.

Other Related Issues

A person may decide to present the annulment to the court. However, they should keep in mind the court system will take no notice of this decision. The annulment can be granted without the input of the other party. This means that the person seeking any form of custody or child support has not been given the opportunity to speak out or defend their stance. They are also not necessarily given the opportunity to refute any allegations. Any kind of custody and child support agreement will instead take other factors into account as it continues. Anyone who is planning a separation or divorce of any kind where children are involved should be aware of such issues. Such issues include any prior history of abuse, financial matters and any future living arrangements for the children and each parent.

Taken Into Account

Any kind of custody and child support arrangements are based on one thing and one thing only. That is the best interests of the child and any other siblings. A judge may decide that one parent is better able to support their children financially. They may also decide that it is in the best interest of the child to avoid contact with another parent because that parent is not fit in some way. However, presenting evidence of alleged unfitness in a court via an annulment is not considered such evidence. The court system will demand other forms of evidence instead such as a legal and medical examination by a qualified outside party

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