When most marriages end, a couple will file for divorce. However, there are certain situations that allow for a couple in Florida to file for an annulment instead. Annulment is very different from divorce, and if you are considering this option it is important to have an experienced attorney assist with your case. The knowledgeable and experienced Boca Raton divorce attorneys at The Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg are here to help determine if you qualify for an annulment and to help you through the process. To learn more, call or contact our office today to schedule a case evaluation.
What is an Annulment?
A divorce is the legal end to a valid marriage that is granted by the court. An annulment is different because the court determines that the marriage was not valid to begin with, and therefore it legally never existed. In Florida, a marriage can be annulled for reasons, or grounds, that make the marriage void or voidable. An annulment is distinctly different from a divorce because of the implications it can have on property distribution, alimony, child support, and custody matters.
Grounds for an Annulment
Void marriages are determined by the court to be invalid from the moment of marriage, whereas voidable marriages may be determined invalid based on the circumstances of the case. Grounds for void marriages include bigamy, incest, underage spouse(s), or permanent mental incapacitation that would render one spouse incapable of consenting to the marriage.
The grounds for a voidable marriage include temporary incapacity at the time of the marriage due to mental illness or intoxication, fraud, duress, lack of parental approval for an underage spouse, impotence, and when one or both spouses enter into the marriage as a joke. However, some voidable marriages can be ratified and cannot be annulled by the court. When a ratification occurs, the couple must go through normal divorce proceedings. One example of ratification of a voidable marriage is consummation after the spouse that has been defrauded, under duress, or temporarily lacked capacity and becomes aware of the situation.
How to File for an Annulment
You should always use a qualified attorney to help file for an annulment in Florida. An annulment petition must be filed with the court, and notice must be given to the other spouse in the case. The petition must explain the grounds of why the marriage is void or voidable. If the other spouse does not agree, they have the right to submit a claim to convert the case into a normal divorce proceeding. To learn more about the differences between an annulment and a divorce, talk to an experienced lawyer today.
Call or Contact Us Now
If you have questions or concerns about filing for an annulment in the Boca Raton area, the knowledgeable attorneys at The Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg are here to help. Call or contact us online today to schedule a consultation to learn more about your legal options.