The third time was not a charm for Pamela Anderson.
The former Baywatch babe is seeking to annul her brief marriage to husband, Rick Salomon. Anderson, 40, who filed court papers in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, cited “fraud” as the reason for the annulment.
This is not the first time that the actress has taken legal steps to end this union. Just two months after the couple’s October 6, 2007 Las Vegas nuptials, she filed for divorce, at the time citing “irreconcilable differences." But, it seemed the split was put on the back burner when a few days later, Anderson said that she and Salomon, 40, were “working things out.” Both are no strangers to failed marriages, Anderson has been married and divorced from rockers Tommy Lee, with whom she has two sons and more recently, Kid Rock. Salomon, who co-starred in the infamous Paris Hilton sex tape, was once married to Beverly Hills, 90210 star Shannen Doherty.
While Anderson has filed for both an annulment and divorce, only one is necessary to end a marriage. The proceedings differ in that an annulment declares that a marriage was invalid from its outset and once a marriage is annulled, it is as if it never existed in the eyes of the law. A divorce simply brings a valid marriage to an end.
“From a financial viewpoint, there is no difference between an annulment and a divorce,” says New York divorce attorney, Elliot Pollard. The distribution of any shared property and assets differs by state but would be split the same as it would in a divorce settlement. However, an annulment may limit your ability to obtain spousal support which would otherwise result from divorce.
Meanwhile, Anderson’s claim of “fraud” as grounds for the annulment could mean a number of things including her husband’s concealment of important facts like sterility, sexual preference, criminal history, or sexually transmitted disease, says Aaron Larson, a Michigan attorney.
In addition to fraud, there are other specific circumstances under which annulments can be granted. Larson says, a marriage can be annulled if the spouses are close biological relatives, if either spouse was not of the mental capacity to enter into a marriage, if either spouse was not of legal age to consent to marriage, if either spouse entered into the marriage as a result of threat, force or duress, and if either spouse was married to another living person at the time of the marriage.
Although an annulment is different from a divorce, it is important to get the right legal assistance. The terms under which the marriage is viewed by law are different but things like finances and children, if involved, are treated as if there was a divorce.
If children are involved, agreements on child support and custody would be made as if their parents were getting divorced says Pollard. Many courts are hesitant to grant an annulment once a couple has had children, but it does occur.