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Brittney Griner seeks annulment for 'duress and fraud'

In Ohio, getting your marriage annulled generally is much more difficult than obtaining a divorce. However, some spouses are entitled to an annulment, which essentially means the law will treat the spouse’s marriage as if it never existed.

This has significant implications for the ending of the relationship. For example, when a marriage is annulled, there is no division of property as there usually is in divorce. Instead, each spouse walks away with the property they brought into the marriage.

In many states, one possible argument when asking the court for an annulment is that the spouse was the victim of duress and/or fraud. In other words, they were forced or tricked into getting married.

That is the argument that star basketball player Brittney Griner is making as she seeks to end her brief marriage to fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson. The couple’s relationship has been tumultuous, involving a domestic violence incident, in-vitro fertilization, a wedding and a separation just 28 days later.

In court filings, Griner is asking the court for an annulment, or a divorce in the alternative. She says that Johnson forced Griner to marry her under immense pressure. Later, Johnson claimed that Griner abused her during the domestic violence incident. Griner says that, had she known that Johnson would take that position, she would not have agreed to get married, KTAR-TV reports.

For her part, Johnson, who is pregnant with twins, wants a divorce, and is seeking spousal support and the use of the “marital residence,” at least until the divorce is finalized.

Most of the time, annulment is not possible and divorce is the only way to end the marriage. This does not mean that each spouse cannot obtain a fair share of the marital property and parenting time with their kids.

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