If you intend to get an annulment of your marriage in Florida, the first thing you should do is contact a family lawyer. This legal representative can help you make sure you meet the criteria for an annulment while assisting you throughout the process.
Before we discuss this topic further, let’s lay some groundwork as far as defining annulment and discussing how it differs from divorce and legal separation.
What Is an Annulment?
An annulment terminates the marriage between two people and makes it as if the marriage never even occurred.
This is different from divorce in that a divorce doesn’t erase the record of two people’s marriage. Instead, it allows them to disentangle their lives and live independently from each other.
All of this means that an annulment can be a more serious process to contend with than divorce, but annulment isn’t available to just anyone.
Criteria for Annulment in Florida
If someone wishes to annul their marriage, they must meet at least one of the following criteria to do so:
- Lack of, or inability to, consent: A legal marriage requires both parties to have the mental capacity and legal ability to consent to marriage. The state can grant an annulment when one or both spouses was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, had a mental disability, or had an illness causing confusion.
- Bigamy: This occurs when one party is already married to another person. It’s illegal to be married to more than one person at a time, so bigamy is a reason for annulment.
- Impotence: If either spouse is unable to perform sexually or to conceive a child, this can be used as grounds for an annulment.
- Fraud: Annulment may be granted when someone withheld certain facts that would have otherwise convinced their spouse not to marry them. For example, failing to disclose that someone was a convicted felon or on the sex offender registry.
- Coercion: Marriages conducted under the threat of violence, duress, or coercion can be annulled.
- Underage: The legal age to marry in Florida without parental consent is 18. With parental consent, 17. No minors younger than 17 can marry in Florida and any marriages conducted when either spouse was underage can be annulled, even if the person is now considered of age.
- Blood Relations: When spouses are related by blood, the court can annul the marriage.
Does Annulment Take Property Division or Alimony Into Account?
No. Because annulment makes it as if the marriage never occurred, there is no property division or alimony possible. Even if spouses commingled their assets, they must find their own way to untangle them and leave the marriage with the property they brought into it.
Because child support and child custody are issues that can arise outside of the contexts of marriage and divorce, separate legal proceedings are conducted to address these matters.
Who Can Help Me Get an Annulment?
If you think annulment is right for you, reach out to our lawyers at Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. for help. We can assist clients with annulment filings and proceedings, divorce, and other family law matters.
For more information and to schedule a consultation, contact us online.