When a court annuls a marriage, it declares the marriage contract invalid, as if, from a legal standpoint, the marriage never existed. Therefore, the division of property laws that apply in divorce cases (community property or equitable distribution, depending on your state), do not apply to annulments. Parenting plans and child support still apply, as they do to parents who have never been married to each other. In the old days, you could only annul your marriage if some big reason made it not count as a usual marriage, such as if the marriage was never consummated or if one spouse was still legally married to a previous partner when the couple married. Today, you can get your marriage annulled if, soon after marrying your spouse, you realize that the marriage was a mistake. You should act quickly, though. The longer you wait, the longer yours starts to seem like a plain old unhappy marriage, the kind that ends with divorce and division of property.

Britney Spears and Jason Allen Alexander

Britney Spears and Jason Allen Alexander grew up together in Kentwood, Louisiana. By January 2004, they were in their early 20s. Spears was arguably the world’s biggest pop star, and Alexander was a college student at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond; despite having a legal name that somewhat resembles the stage name of the guy who played George on Seinfeld, he was not famous. While visiting Las Vegas together, Spears and Alexander decided on a whim, during an alcohol-free breakfast, to get married, so they went to a wedding chapel.  The chapel sent them to the courthouse to get a marriage license, which they did, and then returned to exchange their vows. Afterward, they began discussing their plans about life as a married couple and realized that they were a mismatch on issues such as where they wanted to live and whether they wanted to have children. On Monday, they went back to the courthouse and annulled their marriage. Eight months later, Spears married Kevin Federline; they were married for three years and had two children together.

Meghan King and Cuffe Owens

Meghan King is not as famous as Britney Spears, but she is a cast member on the Real Housewives of Orange County, and Cuffe Owens’s only claim to fame is that his mother is the sister of President Joe Biden. King and Owens met on a dating app in the summer of 2021, and their relationship progressed quickly. After a single phone call, they were flying across the country to meet each other’s families. They married in October, with the President and First Lady in attendance. They soon realized that they were incompatible, though. King’s first commitment was to her three children from her previous marriage, and Owens’s was to his career as a lawyer. Without ever having lived together, they filed for an annulment, which was finalized in July 2022.