When Can You Seek An Annulment?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsAnnulment is a legal proceeding similar to a divorce that can dissolve a marriage. However, the basic distinguishing factor that separates annulment from a divorce is that the former treats a marriage as if it never occurred in the first place. In other words, an annulment can be an option for separating couples to render their marriage alliance completely void. There are various reasons such as divorce being viewed as a stigma or religious purposes that might compel a couple to go for an annulment as a means of ending their marriage. However, unlike divorce that can be granted for a variety of reasons, there are specific requirements or grounds that must be met for filing an annulment.

Incestuous marriage

An incestuous marriage between close blood relatives can be considered void by annulment in the state of California. For example, a marriage that has taken place between siblings, a parent and an offspring or even between two first cousins will be considered incestuous and eligible for dissolution by annulment. 

Either spouse was underage at the time of marriage

If one of the spouses was under 18 years of age at the time of the marriage, the underage partner has the right to file a petition for annulment in the court of law. However, the law doesn’t consider the couple eligible for annulment if the girl partner is pregnant or the couple already has a child together.

A spouse’s inability or refusal to consummate the marriage

An individual has the right to file for an annulment of the marriage if their spouse either refuses to or is incapable of indulging in sexual intimacy with the former. In other words, you can be granted an annulment if your partner is impotent and his/her condition is of a permanent nature.

The marriage was based on lies

If a marriage was actuated under the cover up of a fraudulent or deceitful intention, the partner who was duped can request an annulment in the court of law. For example, if a female fakes a pregnancy and persuades her partner for a marriage, the latter has the right to file for an annulment if he finds out that the intention was to trick him into the wedlock.

If you think that your marriage would be eligible for an annulment you should consult a lawyer and go ahead with the legal formalities of the lawsuit.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Annulment As An Alternative To Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsMarriage annulment is a fairly misunderstood concept owing to the inaccurate projection of its legality by the popular religion and culture. Both annulment and divorce can be considered somewhat similar in their basic underlying principle of determining the status of wedlock. However, the major distinguishing factor that separates an annulment from a divorce is the implication of the marital status post a verdict in the court of law in the two cases.

What is the difference between a divorce and an annulment?

A divorce or a legal separation marks the end of a valid relationship and implies that the couple is no longer viewed by the court as man and wife. On the other hand, an annulment, colloquially termed as nullity of domestic partnership or marriage, is when the court declares the domestic partnership or marriage never really existed in the first place. Post a verdict of annulment, it is assumed that the marriage never really happened as it was not valid or legal to begin with.

What are the grounds for filing for an annulment?

  • A marriage is never considered valid by the Californian state law, if the two parties involved are related by blood.
  • Another situation wherein a marriage stands illegal or invalid is when one of the partners is already in an existing registered wedlock with someone else. The marriage is then termed as bigamous.
  • A person who was below the acceptable age of 18 years at the time of his/her marriage can also file for an annulment of the same.
  • Another situation which is somewhat similar to bigamy can be distinguished on the basis of the fact that a spouse, who was already married to someone else, gets into another wedlock on the premise that the former partner has been absent and assumed dead for the past five years.
  • If either of the partners has an unsound mind that prohibits them from understanding the true implication and obligations of a marriage, their spouse can request an annulment.
  • An annulment can also be requested in a situation where a marriage was a result of fraud. For example, if an individual deceives his partner into wedlock only for obtaining a green card, the marriage will be considered fraudulent and invalid.
  • In cases where a partner was forcefully made to consent for a marriage, an individual can file a petition for an annulment.
  • Finally, if one of the partners was physically incapacitated at the time of marriage which rendered him/her unable to consummate the relationship, and the incapacity continues to stay incurable, the healthy partner has the right to file for annulment.

In order to obtain an annulment, it is mandatory for an individual to be able to prove at least one of the aforementioned reasons, with authentic evidential proof in the court of law.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

What Is An Annulment Of A Marriage?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsAnnulment and divorce both mean the end of a marriage but an annulment suggests that the marriage never took place. Some people do not like the sound of the word ‘divorce’ (it carries a kind of a social or religious stigma for them). Instead, they prefer to annul their marriage. In certain churches, remarriage after an annulment is a lot easier than after a divorce.

Most annulled marriages are of a very short duration. The couple may have been married for a couple of weeks or months or even less. But sometimes long term marriages are also annulled. Annulment is of two types – civil annulment and religious annulment.

Religious annulment – Annulments granted by the church are called religious annulments. Under the Roman Catholic Church, religious annulments can be sought after a civil divorce. It allows either person from the ended marriage to remarry within the church. The church will recognize such a remarriage.

Civil annulment – Annulments granted by the state government are called civil annulments. It comes after a court proceeding. The grounds on which civil annulment can be sought differ from state to state. But at least some of the following reasons have to be true.

  • Unconsummated marriage – If the couple fails to consummate the marriage. May be one spouse is unable of sexual intercourse and the other one was not aware of this.
  • Fraud or perversion – If pieces of information valuable to the marriage are kept hidden by your spouse such as the inability to conceive or some terrible criminal record.
  • Forceful marriage – If either person has been forced into this marriage.
  • Underage – If either of the spouses was or is underage at the time of the marriage.
  • Bigamy – If either spouse was still legally married to another person at the time when this marriage took place.
  • Incest – If the spouses are related by blood. In the eyes of law and religion, it is illegal to marry a very close blood relation.
  • Mentally unstable – If either or both the people in a marriage were of unsound mind at the time of the wedding. They may have been under the heavy influence of drugs or alcohol.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation