Annulment of Marriage in Florida
In the State of Florida, a couple wishing to terminate their marriage can do so by either dissolution through divorce proceedings, or as an alternative, certain situations may provide the option of seeking an annulment.
With an annulment, the marriage is nullified by the court and it is declared as if the marriage never took place.
Although the State of Florida has no specific rules or statutes in place to govern the annulment process, the typical scenario is to follow the general venue statute while commencing the action within a circuit court.
The annulment process voids the marriage or bonds of matrimony as if it never took place whereas a divorce decree will only terminate the marriage from that point forward while not affecting the former validity of the marriage.
Certain grounds and requirements must also be followed and are to be presented before the court.
What are common grounds for annulment?
One of the most common reasons for an annulment to be considered would be in situations where one of the parties lacked the legal capacity to enter the marriage in the first place. There are several reasons why this could occur, but typically one of the following would apply:
- One of the parties has a prior existing marriage that has yet to be dissolved legally
- A party who was extremely intoxicated at the time and lacking proper judgment
- Anyone who is lacking in an adequate level of mental ability to make important decisions
- Someone who is under the legal age for consent to be married
Other factors that can be considered grounds for annulment:
Fraudulent marriages are actually a little more common than one might think. In fact, any marriage where one of the parties never intended to be married can be considered fraudulent. This occurs when the marriage was sought in order to deceive the other party.
One of the most common types of fraudulent marriage occurs whenever people marry to give a party citizenship rights.
Being forced or threatened into the marriage would be classified under duress or coercion.
Factors that disqualify annulment as an option:
Any party who wishes to contest a marriage and seek an annulment in the State of Florida may do so, however, they will be required to prove one or more of the above grounds. Furthermore, the annulment will not be granted if the contesting party has ratified the marriage.
A marriage cannot be subject to annulment if the person seeking the annulment has confirmed the marriage after they have already become aware of the defects.
Because Florida is a "no fault" state, anyone can divorce for no reason at all if they so choose, and divorce is always an option when an annulment isn't. Divorce is usually the easier process of the two options.
The family law attorneys at Fernandez Law Group always represent the best interests of our clients and if you have any questions and need an alimony or divorce attorney in Tampa, we look forward to providing you with dedicated representation and solid results.
Call us today at 813-489-3222 for a FREE consultation and case evaluation.
Content authored by Frank Fernandez