If you have any questions or are interested in annulling your marriage, an attorney at Orner Law, LLC can talk to you about your legal rights and your options in this regard. Perhaps you were attempting to divorce your spouse and then found out that your marriage was not valid or legal in the first place, and now you are faced with an annulment instead. Whatever the case, a South Florida marriage annulment attorney can offer you a private initial consultation to discuss the matter.
ABOUT ANNULMENTS IN FLORIDA
What is the legal difference between dissolution of marriage (also known as divorce) and an annulment? In a divorce, a legally valid marriage is ended. By contrast, in an annulment, you are basically stating that the marriage did not actually exist in the first place because it was not legally entered into by both parties. Marriage arises from contract law, and this means that when two people become married they actually enter into a legal contract with one another. There are circumstances in which the marriage contract may be found to be void; that is, the marriage never existed. In this case, it’s as though the marriage never existed. For example, a person is guilty of the crime of bigamy if he or she enters into a new marriage with knowledge that a prior marriage has not been dissolved. In addition, however, the new marriage is considered void, and probably can be annulled.
Another example of a void marriage that may be annulled is one in which one or both persons were too young to enter into a legal contract without the consent of a parent or guardian. Proof that either or both parties were mentally incapacitated due to illness or severe intoxication may also provide grounds for annulment.
Other marriages are considered voidable. This means that although the marriage may not have been legal at the time, the parties can accept – or “ratify”” – it later on, once the reason for illegality is removed. For example, if one party is tricked into marrying by the fraud, the spouse who was tricked may decide later on to honor the marriage.
WHY CHOOSE AN ANNULMENT?
The legal distinction between dissolution and annulment is explained above, but you may wonder if there are any practical differences. In most respects, the answer is no. The same laws concerning child custody, visitation and support, division of property, alimony and the like apply irrespective of whether a marriage is annulled or dissolved. Because an annulment involves a determination that the marriage never existed, however, it may be desirable for religious reasons, particularly by a person seeking to remarry. In these cases, there may be an accompanying church annulment procedure.
CONTACT AN ANNULMENT ATTORNEY TODAY!
A divorce petition must be granted if one of the grounds listed in the Marriage Dissolution Act exists. Unlike divorce, however, Florida has no statutes governing annulments. Rather, judges must rely on prior cases to determine if an annulment is appropriate under the facts of the case before them. As such, a spouse may expend significant time and money in pursuing an annulment only to have the court deny the petition. For this reason, if you are considering an annulment, it is especially important to review your case in detail with a Florida attorney experienced in handling annulments.
If you feel that your marriage should be annulled or are wishing to end your marriage, working with an experienced lawyer may be very beneficial to the outcome of your case, as well as the ease and speed in which the annulment is completed. Even if you do not qualify for an annulment, you may be able to file for divorce and our firm can assist you with this.