NAVARRE Annulment Attorneys
Effectively Guiding Our Clients to the Dissolution of Their Marriage
Marriage annulment is an often-misunderstood legal process. Many people do not realize that annulments and divorces are entirely different actions. While both work to end a marriage, there are extra steps a couple must take if they would like to annul their marriage. At The Virga Law Firm, our skilled attorneys can help you determine whether your situation warrants an annulment.
To speak to one of our attorneys, call us today at (850) 695-4685!
While a divorce ends a valid marriage, an annulment ends a marriage that is invalid in the eyes of the law. It can be difficult to prove the invalidity of your marriage because the court will only annul a marriage if there is proof of certain circumstances. However, our knowledgeable attorneys can guide you through this process.
Grounds for an Annulment
In Florida, there is a difference between void marriages and voidable marriages. A void marriage is one that was not legal to begin with and a voidable marriage is one that may have been legal to begin with, but certain factors surrounding the marriage made it illegal. Both types can usually be annulled; however, certain voidable situations might be interpretedas a traditional marriage. For example, if a party was coerced into marriage, but is unable to prove how they were tricked, the judge may not grant an annulment. In these cases, the marriage must be terminated through divorce.
Florida courts consider the following grounds for annulment:
- Bigamy: If either party was already legally married to someone else at the time of the marriage, then it was never legal and can be annulled.
- Lack of Consent: If either party was mentally compromised to the point that they could not make decisions on their own at the time of the marriage, then it is voidable and can be annulled.
- Fraud: If either party coerced the other into marriage by misrepresentation, tricks, or any other fraudulent actions, then the marriage is voidable and can be annulled.
- Underage: If either party was under the legal age of adulthood(18 years or older) at the time of marriage, then the marriage is void and can be annulled.
- Infertility: If either spouse is unable to have children and the other spouse was not aware of this at the time of marriage, then the marriage is voidable and can be annulled.
In Florida, fraudulent marriages can be validated if the couple consummates the action after a party discovers the fraud. For example, if the spouses entered their marriage while intoxicated and had sexual relations once they regained their mental faculties while knowing they were married, this would invalidate their candidacy for annulment.
The Effect of an Annulment
Since an annulment works to erase the marriage from all records, some people worry about the it this could have on other aspects of their life. For example, a child is born as the result of a marriage that is ultimately annulled by the court; in this case, either parent may worry that since an annulment erases all legal evidence of the marriage and therefore could void the established paternity of their child.However, an annulment does not affect the paternity of children born during the marriage.
Paternity can be called into question if the annulled marriage was void to begin with. In this case, since the marriage was illegal and never truly valid, the parents of children born from the situation must establish paternity through the court.
Other common effects of annulment include:
- The court can grant support pendente lite (temporary alimony) to either party after an annulment. Additionally, the judge may require the spouse with more wealth to pay for the other’s attorney and legal fees.
- Neither spouse can claim or attempt to claim the property rights of the other party. This means they cannot collect Social Security, insurance, or inheritance from the other party’s assets. Instead, the parties must restore their independent financial positions on their own.
Offering Skilled Legal Services
If you believe your marriage meets the criteria for an annulment, our knowledgeable attorneys can help you. When you choose to work with The Virga Law Firm, you are choosing to work with lawyers who can provide you with exceptional advice and advocacy.
Call our firm today at (850) 695-4685 or contact us online to get started.