They say the third time’s the charm ”“ not for Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and poker celebrity Rick Salomon, though. The couple’s third marriage is on the rocks and both parties have sought separate means to end it. After pulling back a divorce filing from last year, Anderson filed for divorce once more two weeks ago ”“ Salomon raised her an annulment.
What Is the Difference Between an Annulment and a Divorce?
Both terms refer to the legal process of terminating a marriage, but there are key differences between divorces and annulments.
A divorce is the ending of a valid marriage returning both parties to single status with the ability to remarry.
An annulment rules that an invalid marriage never existed. For a marriage to be considered invalid, one of the parties must prove that he or she has legal grounds to end it. Common grounds for annulment are:
- Bigamy, wherein one of the parties is already legally married to someone else
- Forced consent, where one of the parties entered into the marriage under duress
- Fraud, where the marriage is based on some kind of lie or misrepresentation
- Mental illness
- Underage marriage
Salomon claims that his marriage was based on fraud. No one yet knows under what grounds he believes the marriage is fraudulent, but he claims he has solid proof.
One of the main reasons people seek annulments is to invalidate a previous prenuptial agreement; after all, if a marriage never occurred, and a prenuptial agreement only comes into effect once married, then the prenup does not exist after an annulment. In Salomon and Anderson’s case, though, it may be just the opposite ”“ because Salomon’s wealth is reportedly much more substantial than Anderson’s thanks to his poker winnings, it could be possible that Salomon desires an annulment because the two do not have a prenuptial agreement. If divorced, Anderson stands to gain a lot from community property.
In Colorado, annulments are referred to as declarations of invalidity. Seeking the advice of an attorney is imperative if you are thinking of petitioning for a declaration of invalidity, to deal with potential financial ramifications.
Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Child Custody Lawyers