What Qualifies as a Marriage for Annulment

what qualifies for annulment

Judges in Florida grant annulments in cases where the marriage wasn’t valid from the start. Sometimes, a valid marriage becomes invalid based on information discovered later. While an annulment dissolves the marriage like a divorce, it can have significantly different consequences, such as a loss of potential alimony or division of property. An experienced attorney can help shepherd you through the complex Florida family law system.

Annulments end marriages as if they never happened. Florida law does not define the grounds for annulments. Instead, judges grant them based on prior case law that sets the standards for legal marriages.

The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker, P.A., can provide legal guidance if you have questions about what qualifies as a marriage for annulment or are seeking to nullify your marriage.

What Are the Legal Grounds for Annulment?

In Florida, annulments may be granted for void and voidable marriages. Void marriages are those that are not legal from the beginning. Judges are typically more willing to grant annulments in these cases.

A marriage is voidable when a hidden essential marital issue comes to light after the couple marries. These marriages are valid until one spouse learns of circumstances that mean the marriage was not real. It is more difficult to get an annulment for a voidable marriage.

The judge will presume the validity of the marriage, and you must show sufficient grounds to tilt the judgment in favor of annulment.

If the judge does not grant you an annulment that you and your spouse agreed to, or if your spouse fights the annulment and wins, you must go through the traditional dissolution of marriage process.

Some grounds for declaring a marriage void include the following:

Reasons marriages are considered voidable include the following:

If you have questions about annulment grounds or the legitimacy of your marriage, the Law Offices of Travis R. Walker, P.A., can help you navigate your legal options.

How To Get Your Marriage Annulled

You must go through the court system to get an annulment in Florida. The state does not recognize religious annulments as legally binding. File a Petition for Annulment of Marriage and provide specific details, especially for voidable marriages.

Our lawyers can help you fill out and file the form on time. They can also help you with the wording to explain to a judge why you want an annulment instead of a divorce to a judge. The standards for granting an annulment are high. Thus, mistakes can lead to the dismissal of your case.

You must file your annulment papers with the appropriate circuit court. Your spouse then has 20 days to reply to your request for an annulment. They must still meet this deadline even if they agree. If they disagree, they can ask for a dissolution of marriage instead. If the judge decides you must divorce instead of getting an annulment, you must go through the divorce process to divide assets and take care of other family matters. 

How Long Do You Have To Get an Annulment?

Florida law does not dictate how long you have to get an annulment. However, you must file as soon as you as you realize that your marriage is not valid. Judges lean toward the validity of marriages, so asking for your annulment quickly strengthens your case by showing that you would have acted sooner had you known the circumstances.

If spouses consummate a marriage after the petitioning spouse learns of the annulment grounds, the court may deny the annulment. For example, if your spouse admits to impotence but you have sexual relations anyway, a judge will likely rule you need a divorce.

Consequences of Annulment

Divorces in Florida result in a division of assets between spouses and may entitle the parties to other rights. Meanwhile, the courts treat annulled marriages as if they never happened. 

The differences in consequences of annulment versus divorce in Florida are primarily financial and include the following:

Florida courts did uphold an award of permanent alimony following an annulment in Kindle v. Kindle. The husband’s bigamous fraud lasted for more than 20 years, and the courts declared the wife an innocent victim.

Florida courts do recognize children born during an annulled marriage. Judges can issue orders concerning child support, visitation, and custody along with your annulment. If you seek an annulment and have minor children, an experienced marriage annulment lawyer can help you develop a strong parenting plan and case for support.

The Role of The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker in Family Law Cases

Our firm has decades of experience helping families like yours through stressful and emotional legal disputes. We understand how sensitive these cases are and work tirelessly to find solutions that meet our clients’ goals while providing the support they need throughout the process. We are skilled negotiators who never back down from serving as strong advocates for our clients.

An attorney experienced in annulments and many other areas of family law is vital to your case’s success. If a judge denies your annulment, you need a law firm ready to represent you in your divorce without missing a beat. Our skilled attorneys are prepared to help you with parenting plans, child support, child custody, and other aspects of marriage mediation or dissolution.

Our main office is in Stuart, Florida, but we also have offices in Tallahassee and Palm Beach. We are honored when the people we help leave client testimonials of our compassion, dedication, and skill. Here’s what one satisfied client had to say:

I cannot emphasize enough how fortunate we were to have Travis Walker as our legal advocate during a time of immense uncertainty. Thanks to Travis’s expertise and support, we emerged from our legal ordeal with a favorable outcome that exceeded our expectations. Travis Walker is more than an attorney; he is a beacon of hope for those in dire need of legal assistance. If you find yourself facing a daunting legal battle, Travis Walker is the advocate you want by your side. – Dana K.

Contact Us Today for Help With Your Annulment or Other Family Law Matter

Family law is complex, and Florida courts tend to rule a marriage valid unless it was void from the beginning. You need an experienced Florida family law firm that understands what qualifies as a marriage for annulment and how to make your case persuasively to a judge. Our knowledgeable, accomplished attorneys will give your case the personalized attention it deserves.

If you have questions about marriage annulments or other family law matters, contact us to schedule a consultation.

Your Three Steps to Moving Forward

1 icon - orange colorCall our office or complete our contact form and set up an intake call with our Intake Coordinator.

2 icon - orange colorAttend a virtual or in-office consultation so we can better understand your case and determine how we can help guide you to success.

3 icon - orange colorRetain our firm so we may lead you through the legal process as quickly and painlessly as possible.