An annulment is a different way to separate from a partner in Massachusetts. It is similar to a divorce. It is a court order that dissolves a marriage, but it has the legal effect of making it so a marriage never even existed. That means that both people will go on acting like the marriage never happened instead of going through long, drawn out proceedings.
To get an annulment, you have to show that one of the following reasons took place. For instance, if you had a major misunderstanding with a spouse, the marriage can be annulled. This includes things like thinking your spouse wanted children when he actually didn't. The inability or refusal to consummate a marriage is also a reason to get an annulment. That means that if the spouses refuse to have sexual intercourse, the marriage is able to be dissolved.
You can also get an annulment if your spouse concealed something from you. If your spouse has an addiction, a past you didn't know about including a conviction or violent past, is participating in ongoing criminal activity or if he has a sexually transmitted disease or other health factor you weren't aware of. Fraud and misrepresentation, including lying about your age, fertility or being married at the time of the new marriage, also can be grounds for an annulment.
Although an annulment is different from a divorce, it has a place. It's an easier way to get your marriage dissolved, especially if you've only been married for a short time. Your assets should be easy to divide, since you won't have had much time to collect marital assets, and that also makes the annulment faster.
Source: FindLaw, "FAQ Regarding Separation and Annulment Law" Nov. 12, 2014