Terrell Owens’ wife Rachel Snider announced she wants out of her marriage to the NFL football star after only two weeks—claiming that Owens was only using her to get a loan for a $2 million house.
You might assume that such a short period of marriage would qualify her and Owens to receive an annulment, but in reality, the length of a marriage has nothing to do with whether a judge will grant an annulment.
While the details of Owens and Snider’s divorce remain private, several reasons exist for why a couple may want an annulment—and why they may want to forgo annulment and instead get a divorce.
When Do You Get An Annulment?
An annulment treats a marriage as if it never happened, working retroactively to make the marriage invalid. However, unlike divorce in New Mexico, you usually need to give a judge a reason to grant you an annulment. You might need to prove:
- That the marriage was based on fraud or material misrepresentations.
- That the marriage was entered under duress, coercion or force.
- That either party lacked mental capacity into the marriage.
- That either party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol & they file within 60 days
- That either party was already married.
- That either party was underage.
- That the parties are too closely related.
New Mexico is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that either party merely needs to assert that the parties have become incompatible, and that there is no reasonable hope of reconciliation, and that will be sufficient grounds for the Court. Nothing has to be “proved” to the satisfaction of the Court that grounds for divorce exist. In the days before no-fault divorce, divorces were treated much like any other form of civil litigation. The party bringing the action would have to prove that legal grounds exist to dissolve the marriage (i.e., abandonment, insanity, abuse, adultery, etc.).
There are many who would argue today that no-fault divorce makes it “too easy” to get divorced. Notwithstanding that perspective, this is the lay of the law, and because of this, divorce is a much cleaner proceeding compared to annulment, which requires you to argue your case in court, making everything about your marriage public.
If Snider’s claim that Owens used her to obtain a loan is true, her annulment lawyer could argue in court that the marriage was based on fraud. But remember, proving fraud is usually done through a lengthy court battle that is financially draining, and court cases make your private life public.
Thinking About Annulment in New Mexico?
Whether annulment or divorce are right for you depends on the specific circumstances of your case. If you are considering annulment or divorce in New Mexico, the Albuquerque divorce attorneys at Sandia Family Law can provide you with sound legal advice. Learn whether annulment is right for you by calling us at (505) 544-5126 for a FREE consultation.