Annulment Lawyers in Orlando, FL
Marriage is a sacred union between two people. However, there often times in which illegitimate marriages occur because of a variety of factors. There are many alternatives to divorce, and annulments are a way to void and terminate such illegitimate marriages.
Marriage Annulment Attorneys
Florida law does not specifically address annulment. However, annulment does exist in Florida as set forth in appellate case law. An annulment remains unusual and difficult to secure. All void marriages (marriages that are void from the instant they start or void ab initio) and some voidable marriages (that became invalid after the marriage) can be annulled. However, it should be noted that “void” marriages cannot be rehabilitated and would require a new marriage ceremony once the facts that made the marriage void are corrected (assuming they can be).
At the Smith Family Law Firm, our experienced annulment lawyers can help you understand marriage annulment requirements and if your unique circumstance qualify.
What Is an Annulment?
An annulment is a court procedure that dissolves a marriage. In most cases, annulled marriages are marriages that were not legally recognizable and/or legitimate in the first place. Therefore, annulment is necessary.
Annulment vs. Divorce
Annulments and divorces are two completely different legal procedures. While both result in the dissolution of marriage, an annulment cancels a marriage. In other words, the marriage is voided, erased and considered nonexistent. Meanwhile, divorces merely dissolves valid marriages, making a married couple return to a single status. An annulment lawyer can help you understand how an annulment in Florida works.
Can Any Marriage Be Annulled?
Not all marriages can be annulled. Below are the most common grounds for annulment in the state of Florida.
- The marriage is void because it is bigamous, incestuous, the union consists of two underage people, or because one spouse is permanently mentally incapacitated and unable to consent to marriage. Although these marriages are void by their very nature, it is still advisable to obtain an annulment.
- The marriage is voidable because one of the spouses lacked the capacity (ability) to consent to marriage because at the time of the ceremony, the spouse was suffering from a serious but temporary mental problem or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The marriage is voidable because one of the spouses used fraudulent acts or misrepresentations to trick the other spouse into entering the marriage. Not all misrepresentations will qualify. A qualifying fraud goes to the essence of the marital relationship. For example, if Spouse A lied about having have a serious disease like tuberculosis, that lie would not be a basis for annulment. However, if Spouse A married Spouse B but had no intent to live with Spouse B as a married couple, that could be the basis of an annulment.
- The marriage is voidable because one or both spouses only entered into the marriage because they were under duress (defined as extreme coercion or possibly even force).
- The marriage is voidable because one spouse is underage and entered the marriage without the consent of a parent or guardian.
- The marriage is voidable because one spouse is impotent and the other spouse did not know this information at the time of marriage.
- The marriage is voidable because one or both spouses entered into the marriage as a joke.
Do I Need an Annulment Lawyer?
The annulment process in Florida is far from simple. Marriage is viewed as a sacred union, and therefore, many family and divorce courts are reluctant to granting marriage annulments. In order to gain annulment, you should first file a petition with the relevant court. If your spouse is unwilling to accept the dissolution of the marriage, he/she may file a counterclaim for the court’s review.
With the assistance of an experienced annulment lawyer, you can rest assured that you will be able to obtain and present any and all evidence that may benefit you in a court of law. A divorce lawyer may also be necessary when dividing assets and/or establishing alimony support. To ensure that your rights, financial security, and well-being are protected and upheld during the annulment process, you should rely on an experienced Florida annulment lawyer.
At the Smith Family Law Firm, our Orlando family law attorneys are equipped with the skills and experience necessary to assist you during this difficult time. We will help you understand your rights and how to make the annulment process work in your favor. For more information on annulments, contact our Orlando family law firm today.