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Legal annulments differ from religious annulments, such as those performed by a priest. A legal annulment essentially voids a marriage. It is extremely difficult to get an annulment granted in Florida.
There are two distinctive types of annulment. If for some reason a marriage was never valid to begin with, considering itself void in the eyes of the law, granting an annulment is easy. If the marriage was legally valid from the start, the marriage may be voidable and annulling it is considerably more difficult.
You must meet specific guidelines in order to have your marriage annulled: the relationship must have been bigamous or incestuous, involve an underage spouse, or fraudulent.
Annulment proceedings can be difficult and having an experienced family lawyer on your side is necessary. Winig Law is qualified to help with your annulment process from start to finish.
What is Civil Annulment?
"Civil annulments" differ from the commonly misunderstood "religious annulments", which can only be granted by a church or clergy member. Parties who obtain a religious annulment are still considered legally married in the State of Florida.
A civil annulment is a court order which declares a marriage invalid. Legally, an annulled marriage is one that never existed.
GROUNDS FOR ANNULMENT IN FLORIDA
Unlike in divorce matters, there are no Florida Statutes which govern annulments, however Florida appellate courts have distinguished a number of grounds for a marriage to be annulled. Those grounds are based heavily upon whether the marriage in question is "void" or "voidable".
Void vs. Voidable Marriages:
A void marriage is a marriage that was invalid from its inception, whereas a voidable marriage is a marriage that was not necessarily invalid from the beginning.
Examples of Grounds for Annulment in Void Marriages:
- Both spouses are underage
- One spouse is permanently mentally incapacitated and unable to consent to marriage.
Examples of Grounds for Annulment in Voidable Marriages:
- One of the spouses lacked the mental capacity to consent to the marriage at the time of the ceremony as a result of a temporary, but serious, mental issue or due to the spouse's inebriation from alcohol or drugs;
- Fraudulent acts or misrepresentations were used by one spouse to deceive the other into entering the marriage;
- One of the spouses was under duress;
- One of the spouses was a minor and did not have the consent of his or her parent or guardian;
- Impotency of one of the spouses without the other's knowledge; or
- One or both of the spouses entered into the marriage as a joke.
Annulment proceedings can be difficult and having an experienced family law attorney on your side is necessary. Contact Winig Law today to schedule a consultation with a qualified family law attorney who will help you navigate this complex matter.
Family Law Lawyer Stephen L. Winig, Esq. is a member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, and is licensed to practice before all
Florida State Courts, as well as the United States District Courts for Southern and Middle Florida.
Winig Law routinely handles cases throughout Palm Beach County including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington,
Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Greenacres, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach and surrounding areas.
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