Can You Get an Annulment in Florida?
When considering divorce, or about to go through one, there are a lot of terms people hear. One of these is ‘annulment’ and it is not long after people hear of it that people begin to wonder if it is right for them. So, what is an annulment, and is it possible to get one in Florida?
What is an Annulment?
Divorces and annulments are similar because they both make a final decision on a person’s marital status. The difference is that a divorce will result in a final order that declares that a valid marriage once existed, but that the relationship has dissolved and the couple is no longer married. An annulment on the other hand, makes it as though the marriage never existed.
Florida law does not have an official legal statute pertaining to annulments. That is not to say though, that an annulment cannot be obtained within the state. Precedent handed down by the appellate courts over the years has given rise to annulment cases. However, due to the fact that there is no statute guiding these proceedings, a person must bring forward strong evidence to determine an annulment is needed should they wish to obtain one.
Grounds for Annulment
Unlike a divorce, a person must prove a reason that they need an annulment in Florida. These are known as grounds and, when it comes to annulment, they include:
- The marriage was bigamous (one spouse was married to more than one person), or incestuous (the spouses were related)
- The spouses were both underage
- One spouse does not have proper mental capacity to consent to getting married
- One or both spouses was underage and did not have the permission of their parent or guardian
- One or both spouses was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and therefore, unable to give consent to the marriage
- One spouse committed fraud in order to deceive the other person into marrying them
- One or both spouses got married under duress
- One spouse is impotent and the other spouse was unaware of it when entering into the marriage
- One or both spouses entered into the marriage as a joke
When presenting any of these grounds, it is imperative that a person wishing to have a marriage annulled brings strong evidence to support their claims.
Terms of an Annulment
There are many terms people think about when entering into a divorce, such as property division and child custody. When obtaining an annulment, neither spouse is allowed to declare rights over the other spouse’s property. However, if children are involved, a judge will make a decision on issues of child custody and child support. A judge may also order one spouse to pay the other alimony.
Need Help with a Divorce? Call Our Florida Family Lawyers
Although it is possible to get an annulment in Florida, it is rarely done. They are difficult to obtain and substantial evidence must be presented. As such, most couples that want to end their marriage will have to a get a divorce. If you are thinking about filing for divorce, do not do it on your own. At All Family Law Group, our Tampa divorce lawyers can help. We will guide you through the process, determine what options are available, and help you get a divorce as quickly and easily as possible. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 or email us to schedule your free consultation.