An annulment essentially decrees that your marriage is void or never actually
happened. Before you can get an annulment though, you’ll need to
meet the criteria specified by Florida law. We break down the criteria
for you below.
Divorce or Annulment
In some instances, it might be preferable to get a
divorce instead of an annulment. In Florida, the laws for annulment have been
established by common law decisions. Because a burden of proof is needed
to establish an annulment, some parties might seek a divorce even if they
have grounds for annulling the marriage. However a void or voidable marriage
can be annulled under Florida law. Examples of void marriages include
bigamy and new marriages made to someone else already married.
Underage marriage can be another reason to get an annulment. Marriage by
parties under the age of 18, unless consented to by the minor’s
parent or guardian, are forbidden in Florida. If one party discovers the
other party was under the age of 18 at the time their marriage, they may
seek an annulment. In some cases, the parents of the minor child can seek
an annulment too.
Fraud, Duress, & Other Grounds
In order to be valid, both parties must have freely and voluntarily agreed
to the marriage. To prove a fraudulent marriage, you must show that you
entered the marriage under false or coerced pretenses. Mental incapacity,
physical disability, drug or alcohol abuse, and incest can all be grounds
for an annulment. Cases surrounding mental incapacity require proof that
one spouse became mentally disabled after the marriage.
Petition for Annulment
You will need to file your petition for annulment with your local county
court. Background information about your marriage, the reason you’re
requesting the annulment, a statement regarding any children arising from
the marriage, and documentation of your assets will be needed. The court
might require a divorce instead of an annulment if the marriage resulted
in children or significant shared assets.
Wondering if you should get a divorce or annulment? Our Orlando divorce
lawyer can help decide which option suits your needs. Contact R. Gregory Colvin, LLC
to get started today.