In Florida, the law does not explicitly address annulments. Because of this, there is no time limit or waiting period for a couple who determines their marriage to be invalid to have the marriage annulled, which is not the case in all states. Couples can file annulment paperwork with the court to have their marriages voided if they fit the criteria for annulment, but whether the annulment is granted is at the court’s discretion. In many cases where a couple’s marriage is not valid, the couple seeks a divorce.
Reasons Why a Couple may Seek an Annulment
There are many reasons why a marriage can be deemed invalid. If a marriage fits one of these criteria, the couple can have their marriage annulled, which means that legally, the marriage never happened. For some couples, often religious couples who believe divorce is a sin, this is an important distinction.
Bigamy. If one of the parties was legally married to another individual when he or she entered the marriage, the marriage is not valid. Generally, a couple in this situation does not have to obtain a divorce or annulment because the marriage was never valid;
Mental incapacity to enter a marriage, either due to a mental disorder or intoxication at the time of the marriage ceremony;
One or both parties entered the marriage due to coercion or threat of force;
One or both of the parties was under the age of 18 when the marriage was performed and did not have parental permission to marry; and
One or both parties committed fraud or misrepresentation to enter the marriage. This could be in an effort to circumvent federal immigration law, a misrepresentation about an individual’s intention to live with a spouse as a married couple, or misrepresentation about one’s financial or health status that impacts the marriage in some way.
Ratifying a Voidable Marriage
In certain cases, a fraudulent marriage can become a valid marriage when the couple sexually consummates the union. This is because in cases where the wronged spouse knew about the circumstances present, such as his or her partner’s intoxication at the time of the marriage ceremony or misrepresentation, the wronged spouse waives his or her right to annul the marriage by choosing to have a sexual relationship with the dishonest partner. In cases where the wronged spouse could not have known about an issue that voided his or her marriage, an annulment might still be possible.
Draper Law Office can Help you Determine whether you are Eligible for an Annulment
If you cannot have your marriage annulled, you can still divorce your spouse if you want to exit the relationship. To learn more, schedule your initial consultation with our team of divorce lawyers at Draper Law Office today by visiting us online or calling (866) 767-4711.