An annulment is a legal procedure used to bring a marriage to an end. However, unlike a divorce, an annulment declares the marriage to have been null and void, meaning legally it never occurred in the first place. This means you will not have to go through as many of the stressful processes you would otherwise need to navigate a divorce.
It’s important to note that annulments are not available to just anyone. You must be able to prove to a family law court that your marriage should never have happened. The following are some of the common grounds used to prove you qualify for an annulment:
- You and your spouse are somehow related. If you and your spouse are closely related by blood, marriage or adoption, you could have grounds for an annulment, whether or not you knew about this relation before you got married.
- Impotency or lack of consummation. If you did not know your spouse was impotent when you entered into the marriage, you could argue for an annulment in Florida.
- Either spouse was already married. Polygamy is illegal throughout the entire United States, meaning you can be granted an annulment if you unknowingly entered into an illegal marriage with an already-married person.
- Either spouse is not of legal age. This is often ample grounds for annulment, but if you wait to file for an annulment after both spouses are of legal age, there’s a chance your request will not be granted.
- Either spouse was forced or coerced into the marriage. In cases of bribery, blackmail, threats or other types of force, one spouse may claim he or she did not want to enter into the marriage.
- Lack of mental competency. A person who was drunk, for example, would have grounds for an annulment, as he or she was not in a right state of mind at the time of the marriage. The same is true for someone who is declared permanently mentally incompetent.
- Other reasons. If a partner fails to disclose details such as a criminal background, impotence, sexually transmitted diseases or other secrets, you could receive an annulment.
To learn more about how to file for an annulment, meet with the skilled Jacksonville divorce lawyers at Combs Greene, PA.
Andrea Jevic also contributed to this blog post.