A marriage can legally end in one of two ways in Florida: annulment or
dissolution. While the outcome is the same, the requirements and implications
of each are very different. Below we’ll discuss the two and which
one may be a better option for you and your family.
Divorce is the dissolution of a valid marriage. Florida is a no-fault divorce
state, which means that neither spouse is required to prove certain grounds
in order for a divorce to be granted. All they need to show is that the
marriage is irretrievably broken or there are irreconcilable differences.
On the other hand,
an annulment is only an option if the ability of one spouse to enter a valid marriage
comes into question. They are rare and are usually only granted when one
of the following elements is present:
- Mental incapacity
- Extreme intoxication
- Lack of consummation
- Existing marriage to another person
- Underage spouse
While only spouses are able to initiate divorce, a third party is allowed
to question the validity of a divorce, causing an annulment to occur.
Another major difference is that divorce is governed by law, and there
are established produces that dictate the process and outcome. For an
annulment, there is a lack of statutory guidance, which leaves the judge
with the decision to either proceed or deny. Finally, whether you decide
on divorce or an annulment, equitable distribution and alimony may be
Annulments in Florida are usually much more complex and expensive than
divorces. Either way, if you’re considering separating from your
spouse, contact our
Jacksonville family lawyers at Owenby Law, P.A. today! We assist clients with a wide range of family
law matters, including child custody, alimony, paternity, and adoption.
If you’re ready to discuss your case, call (904) 770-3141 or contact us online.