Is an Annulment Really That Different From a Divorce In Florida?


When your marriage has come to an end, discuss with your Orlando Divorce Attorney the options available to you moving into legal single status. There are two ways a marriage can be terminated in Florida, annulment and divorce. Knowing the qualifications and differences of each is critical to proceed with your court case and must be discussed with your Orlando Divorce Attorney.

There is a major difference between both options. In a divorce proceeding, the court will find and recognize that a legal marriage existed between the parties. However, if you qualify for an annulment, the court will declare the marriage was fraudulent in some way and never legally existed in the eyes of the court. Annulments are only available in a few specific instances. If you feel that your marriage should be annulled, contact your Orlando Divorce Attorney who can go over your situation to see if you meet the preset grounds for an annulment in Florida.

In order to qualify for an annulment your marriage must be voidable. In order to be deemed voidable, you must look to the certain grounds provided by Florida courts.  A marriage can be voidable and annulled if there was a fraudulent basis. For instance, if the marriage simply occurred to achieve immigration status, or social security benefits. In this case, there must be evidence that a party intended to live together as a married couple and the marriage was of short duration. Illegality of a marriage, on the other hand, is one of the easier grounds to prove. Illegality can be seen if a spouse is underage and did not obtain parental consent to enter into the marriage, if a spouse was already married, in turn committing bigamy, or a spouse entered into a relationship with someone of your same bloodline, causing an incestuous marriage. These terms of illegality are found in Florida statute and can result in further legal consequences for the couple. A marriage may also be annulled if the court finds a party entered into the marriage under duress, fraudulent concealment, or did not have the mental capacity to enter into such an agreement. However, an individual seeking this type of annulment will need to act quickly once the fraud is uncovered or the marriage will remain a valid one. This is a catch all exception and is usually used as a last resort if unable to fully prove any other factor. Finally, the court has also granted annulments in cases where there has been an inability by a partner to consummate the marriage. Typically, this involves a spouse being impotent and did not make the other spouse aware of this prior to marriage. Although rare, the court has found this to be proper grounds for an annulment.

When it is a viable option, some individuals prefer an annulment for several reasons. This could include a religious belief against divorce, or the stigma sometimes associated with being a divorced person. However, in opposition if a marriage is annulled, children born during the union will be considered as being born out-of-wedlock, partners will not be eligible for alimony, and property obtained, or debts incurred during the marriage will no longer be deemed marital assets or debts. Therefore, separation of the aforementioned items can be difficult.

If you have questions concerning your ability to dissolve your marriage and the process of annulments in Florida, contact an experienced Orlando Divorce Attorney who can look at your union and help you to decide what will be the best course of action for you.

Speaking to an attorney at our office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 407-512-0887 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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