top of page


In Tennessee, a marriage annulment is available instead of divorce where the marriage is either void or voidable.  A void marriage is a marriage that is legally invalid because it is a serious violation of public policy.  Examples of a void marriage are things such as a bigamous or incestuous marriage.  Technically, a void marriage is of no legal significance; however, the best course of action is to file for annulment of such a marriage.  By contrast, a voidable marriage is a marriage that, because of some defect, is invalid.  Things such as the lack of capacity to consent to the marriage contract as when one of the parties is underage is grounds for annulment.  Other grounds for annulment are fraud, mistake, or when the marriage has not been consummated.

Effects of Annulment in Tennessee

A decree of annulment in Tennessee renders a marriage void from the beginning.  In other words, it is as if the marriage never occurred.  Such a decree attempts to place you and your spouse back to where you were prior to the marriage.  Since the marriage is considered as never existing, spousal support in the form of alimony is not available.  However, if children were born during your marriage and your marriage is later annulled, this does not cause your children to be illegitimate.


Often, grounds for annulment and grounds for divorce are the same, such as where you or your spouse were married to someone else at the time of your marriage.  In such cases, the judge can divorce you and your spouse instead of annulling the marriage.  In either situation, where children are involved, the judge will grant child support, custody, and visitation and may even distribute property in appropriate circumstances.  Even in cases of annulment, you and your spouse can agree on the terms of the property division in Tennessee.

Differences Between Annulment and Divorce in Tennessee

In contrast, divorce and property division are generally considered preferable in voidable marriages where the marriage is of a long duration or where children were born during such a marriage.  If the grounds for annulment are the same as the grounds for divorce, then a determination should be made as to which course of action would be most beneficial.  The legal difference between divorce and annulment is that in an annulment, the law considers that the marriage never took place, whereas, in a divorce, the court considers the marriage to have been valid, but because of the conduct of one or both of the parties, the marriage should be terminated.


If you desire an annulment in Tennessee, you must first file such a request in court. Hiring a competent Tennessee annulment attorney to handle your case is essential. Since whether to seek a divorce or annulment can be a complicated decision, an experienced Tennessee divorce and annulment attorney is very important.


We serve clients in Nashville, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Memphis Germantown, Millington, Cordova, Bartlett, Collierville, and all of West and Middle, Tennessee. 

Contact a Memphis Divorce and Annulment Attorney

Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation at our conveniently located offices in Memphis, Tennessee by calling us at 901-410-5490, or in Middle Tennessee by calling us at 615-656-7920, or by sending us an email at


bottom of page