Can I annul my marriage rather than getting a divorce in Florida?
No, you cannot. Although the two proceedings sever a marriage, they are not alike and cannot be used as a substitute for the other. The court procedure and end-effect of a divorce are vastly different from an annulment. Simply put, a divorce is a court declaration that a marriage existed, has come to an end, with provisions for support, property division, child custody, alimony, and child support. An annulment is based on a claim that the marriage was a sham, was fraudulent in some way, or because of some type of compelling circumstance the marriage was never real. There are practicalities to an annulment case in Florida, such as the necessity of parenting decisions if there is a minor child of the annulled marriage. Sometimes the court has to also deal with the division of property. But at its heart, a marriage that is annulled has been declared by the court is determined to be illegitimate and non-existent.
An annulment, to be initiated, grounds for the annulment must be proven, after which the marriage will be considered null and void by the court. An annulment case can be initiated by either the husband or the wife in the marriage. The following is a list of common grounds for annulment.
- Bigamy – either party was already married to another person at the time of the marriage
- Forced Consent – one of the spouses was forced or threatened into marriage and only entered into it under duress
- Fraud – one of the spouses agreed to the marriage based on the lies or misrepresentation of the other
- Marriage Prohibited By Law – marriage between parties that based on their familial relationship is considered incestuous
- Mental Illness – either spouse was mentally ill or emotionally disturbed at the time of the marriage
- Mental Incapacity – either spouse was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the marriage and was unable to make informed consent
- Inability to Consummate Marriage – either spouse was physically incapable of having sexual relations or impotent during the marriage
- Underage Marriage – either spouse was too young to enter into marriage without parental consent or court approval
For divorce assistance, contact the Divorce Attorney Tampa for your Free Consultation at (813) 336-3616.
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