How Does an Annulment Work?

How Does an Annulment Work?

An annulled marriage is somewhat rare in today's society, but it can be sought by spouses if the required legal grounds for annulment are present. The theory behind getting an annulment instead of a divorce, is that the marriage was never valid to begin with. Marriages that have been annulled are classified as "void" or "voidable," and are sometimes called "nullified" marriages. An action for an annulment must be started within a certain timeframe. This time limit depends on state laws and the type of marriage entered into.

Although an annulment is different from divorce, there are some similarities. For example, if children are involved, a court might award child custody or order the payment of child support as part of the annulment agreement.

Legal Grounds for an Annulment

The following legal grounds can be used to annul a marriage in Florida:

  • Underage Spouse: One or both spouses do not meet the legal age to be married
  • Incest: The spouses are related by blood
  • Bigamy: One of the spouses has another living husband or wife at the time of marriage
  • Insanity: One of the spouse is mentally unstable or incapable of understanding the nature of marriage
  • Duress: One of the spouse was coerced into the marriage
  • Impotence: The spouses were unable to or did not have sexual intercourse
  • Fraud: One of the spouses was deceived into the marriage through misrepresented information
  • Denial of Marital Rights: A spouse refuses to live with the other spouse or have sexual relations during the marriage

Petition for Annulment

The petition for annulment will need to be filed with your local county court. To file, you will the following things:

  • Background information about your marriage
  • The reason you’re requesting the annulment
  • A statement regarding any children arising from the marriage
  • Documentation of your assets

If the marriage resulted in children or a significant amount of shared assets, the court might require a divorce instead of an annulment.

Do you need help with your annulment or divorce? Contact our Jacksonville team of family law attorneys to schedule a free a case consultation today.


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