How Do I Get an Annulment in Florida?
Marriage isn’t for everyone. Sometimes, we do not find this out until after the fact. If you want to dissolve your marriage in Florida, you can either get a divorce or annulment. Divorce is a simpler and less time-consuming process that just terminates the marriage. An annulment goes even further to say that the marriage is void and essentially never existed.
There are several reasons why a married person would want to seek an annulment. One of the most common is for religious reasons – for example, if your religious forbids or does not recognize divorce. So, how do you get an annulment in FL?
Annulments in Florida
Before we delve into the requirements for getting an annulment in Florida, we must first take a look at the options that the state provides. It is important to note that you can only seek an annulment if your marriage meets the criteria set forth by the court. If it does not, you can still obtain an annulment if you and your spouse never consummated the marriage or if the two of you never lived together. There is no statute under Florida law for annulments, which means the state does not provide the steps for seeking an annulment, like it does for seeking a divorce.
Under Florida law, any marriage that can be voided is one that can be annulled. A voidable marriage includes one that involves bigamy, where your spouse married you but was still married to someone else, or if you find out your wife is pregnant from another man after you get married. A voidable marriage is one in which either spouse has the option to either end the marriage or continue it.
Criteria for Annulment in Florida
If you wish to have your marriage annulled in Florida, it must meet one of the following criteria:
- Lack of, or inability to consent: If you did not have the mental capacity to consent to the marriage, it can be annulled. This includes being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, having a mental disability, or having an illness that caused confusion.
- Bigamy: This is when the person you married is already married to another person. Since it is not legal to be married to two people at the same time, a marriage could be annulled under this circumstance.
- Impotence: This is when one of the spouses knows they are impotent and did not disclose it to the other spouse prior to getting married.
- Fraud: The marriage can be voided if your spouse withheld certain facts from you that would have prevented you from marrying them in the first place.
- Force: A marriage can be annulled if you are threatened into it by force, duress, or coercion.
- Underage spouse: If you or your spouse are underage and the consent of the minor’s parents was not obtained, the marriage can be annulled.
Petitioning for Annulment
When the time comes to file a petition for annulment in Florida, you will need to prove that one of the above circumstances is present in your marriage. When you petition the court for an annulment, there will be no spousal support issued when the marriage is voided. Both spouses will also leave the marriage with the property they brought into the marriage. There will not be a division of marital property like there is in a divorce, because there is technically no marital property to divide.
As we discussed previously, obtaining an annulment case is not nearly as easy as obtaining a divorce. Make sure you have an experienced attorney by your side when filing for annulment, or else your case could end up being dismissed by the court.
Call Today to Speak to an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Do you want to have your marriage annulled in Florida? Are any of the circumstances listed above present in your marriage? If so, it’s time to speak to an experienced family law attorney about your situation.
Call the office of Crystal Collins Spencer at 850-912-8080 to schedule a consultation about your case. We will provide you with an explanation of the law and help you gather evidence that supports your petition for annulment – if your marriage qualifies. We have offices in Pensacola, Sandestin and Fort Walton Beach to better serve our clients.