What are grounds for an annulment in Florida?
The grounds for annulment in Florida are:
- One of the parties was under 18 years of age at the time of marriage and did not obtain the consent of his/her parent or guardian to enter into the marriage
- One of the parties was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when she/her married and therefore did not have the mental ability to consent
- Physical incapacity to consummate the marriage
- Consent to the marriage was obtained as a result of fraud, deception, duress or force
- Mental incapacitation
In Florida, marriages that are considered to be voidable because of fraud can be ratified or made valid by the subsequent act of sexual consummation after the injured party becomes aware of the fraud, duress, or temporary lack of capacity which led to the marriage. The reasoning for this is that if the wronged spouse chooses to engage in a sexual relationship while knowing the truth, then the wronged spouse essentially waives any right to complain about the wrongdoing.
Void marriages, like those that are bigamous, incestuous, or mentally incapacitated marriages, were never legal unions from the onset, and these unions can never be made legal marriages, regardless of the desires of the couple.
Even if a bigamous spouse obtains a legal divorce from their previous marriage, the second marriage would still not be a legal marriage, as it was performed during the time when one spouse was legally unable to enter into a marriage contract. You can, however, remarry after their divorce is finalized in order to form a valid, binding marriage. An incestuous marriage is illegal by definition, and thus can never become a valid marriage. These marriages, while legally void and thus not valid, do not require an annulment, however, filing for a legal annulment can help to make a future marriage easier, as you will not have to deal with false bigamy claims.
Void and voidable marriages are the only marriages that qualify for an annulment. Any other marriage that you wish to dissolve would have to be done through a traditional divorce, or dissolution of marriage, proceedings through the court systems.
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