There's been much speculation on how Kris Humphries would respond to Kim Kardashian filing for divorce a month ago after just 72 days of marriage. Kris has always said that he didn't believe in divorce and has filled for an annulment in a Los Angeles Superior court. If an annulment is granted it will be as if their multi-million dollar wedding extravaganza never happened. There are even rumors that Kim considered an annulment herself prior to proceeding with the divorce filing, but was advised it would be difficult to prove.
So what is an annulment and how is it different to a divorce? The main difference with an annulment is that once granted, legally the marriage never existed because of some fault related to the marriage. Legally, both divorce and a decree of annulment end a marriage but with a divorce dissolution, the marriage was considered to be a valid contract until it failed. The records of the marriage and divorce remain recorded.
According to California law, an annulment can only be granted under one of eight conditions: incest, bigamy, underage spouse who didn't obtain parental consent, previous existing marriage or domestic partnership, unsound mind, fraud, force or incapacity, where the spouse is physically unable to consummate the marriage. Fraud is the reason Humphries cited for "nullity of a voidable marriage" and this seems to be the most common reason for annulments these days, though this can be difficult to prove.
Today, annulments based on fraud are sometimes granted regardless of whether the real test for fraud is met. Judges simply look the other way and treat “fraud” as a catchall mechanism for dissolving hasty or ill-considered marriages.
It's not surprising that Humphries chose annulment considering his religious background. Annulment has been most popular with Roman Catholics because it allows them to remarry with out any objection from the church. However, Humphries, isn't the first celebrity to successfully have an an annulment granted. Actress Renee Zellewgger successfully annulled her 128 day marriage to country singer Kenny Chesney based on fraud. Britney Spears also received an annulment from a Las Vegas court after her 50 hour marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander, fraud was the reason cited.
There has certainly been plenty of media speculation that the whole Kardashian Humphries wedding was staged to improve ratings for the Kardashian reality show and to make money from various media deals. Perhaps Humphries will claim that he was unwittingly drawn in. Kim Kardashian denies that the wedding was a big publicity stunt and claims it was all 'real' - whatever that is.
If an annulment isn't granted, Humphries has requested a legal separation - this means that neither party will be able to remarry. Humphries may be fine with this but I think Kim will still be pushing for her divorce.