Generally speaking, the average annulment occurs after only a month of marriage. Within such a short time frame the likelihood of consummation is somewhat diminutive. Even as a rarity, the situation of children and legitimacy issues is something that should be widely known.
Children born during any marriage are considered legitimate. Like a divorce, an annulment does not change the legitimacy of a child. If the baby is born under incest, drug abuse, or any other horrible circumstance, the child will still be considered legitimate, post annulment. Annulments and divorce vary in many ways but, one similarity they do share, is in regards to children and their legality. If a couple seeking an annulment has a child, the courts will utilize the same exact processes as if the couple were getting a divorce.
Custody will be determined, either based on state choice, or on the parent’s willingness and suitability to raise. Akin to many divorce cases, the child custody battles in an annulment case can be brutal and impassioned. Also like a divorce, child custody payments may be ordered in an annulment case depending on circumstances.
An annulment that takes place in the Catholic Church also has the same viewpoints on the children’s legitimacy. Catholics believe that the birth of a child is a gift from god. Deeming a child to be illegitimate would be a great sin for a Catholic. According to the church, any child born during a marriage that ended in annulment is considered to be legitimate.
The biggest issue with children and an annulment is not the legitimacy of the child, but instead, the red tape and cost associated. In addition to complications revolving around child support payments and custody, a child’s birth adds hours of paperwork to the annulment process. With an increase in work, comes a decrease in opportunity. Due to the larger costs, many states and jurisdictions will turn down applications for an annulment if a child is present.
Dissimilar to other instances, hiring an annulment lawyer is necessary if a child is involved. The process, although arduous, will be streamlined greatly with the assistance of an attorney. Again, the legitimacy of a child is not in question, but understanding the process is necessary if an annulment is in your near future.