What is an annulment?
Whereas a “divorce” ends a valid marriage, an annulment is to declare the marriage void, as if it never took place.
What are the grounds for an annulment?
There are only a few reasons an annulment may be granted:
Parties are related by blood or adoption;
Either party is in a previous marriage that has not been dissolved;
At the time of marriage, one party to the marriage was:
Under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
Forced to marry;
Or misled about a prior divorce.
In most cases, the law requires that the person seeking annulment must stop living with the spouse once the problem is discovered.
What does Pro Se mean?
Pro Se is a term used to describe individuals who choose to represent themselves in court without the assistance of an attorney.
What is alimony?
Alimony is periodic payments from one former spouse for support of the other former spouse.
What is an illegitimate child?
Basically this means a child born to people not married to each other. In the case of a divorce proceeding, this means any child born during the marriage to a man other than the husband. If there is an illegitimate child in the marriage, the paternity of that child must be legally established before the divorce can be finalized.
What is paternity?
The formal and legal determination of a child’s biological parents. In some cases, this may require DNA testing. For divorce actions involving an illegitimate child, paternity must be established before the divorce can be final.
What is meant by 'filing an answer?'
An “Answer” in a divorce proceeding is the legal response from a spouse who has been served divorce papers. An Answer is filed with the District Clerk’s Office and may be the first indication that the divorce will be contested.
Who is the 'petitioner' and who is the 'respondent?'
The Petitioner is the person who is started the divorce case (the person who filed the Divorce Petition). The Respondent is the other person.