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Annulment in Florida

You may have heard talk of annulment, but remain unsure of what it actually is and whether it is available in Florida. Annulment refers to annulling a marriage. An annulment of a marriage is, essentially, when circumstances dictate that it should be treated as though it never happened. In other words, annulment clears a marriage so it is as if it never existed in the first place.

You can likely see the advantages of an annulment. For starters, it can help a person avoid any religious complications that may be associated with divorce. It also means that the former “spouse” cannot claim any of the legal rights that might be made available in the divorce. For instance, there would be no need to divide any marital property. Should you wish to avoid divorce, you may want to look into the annulment option.

Annulment in Florida

Not everyone will be eligible to seek an annulment. An annulment will only be granted in Florida under certain circumstances. For instance, fraud is a valid ground for seeking an annulment. When a person consents to a marriage by relying on an intentional misrepresentation, then this will be considered fraud. Put another way, trying to get someone to marry you by lying about something important is fraud and would make the marriage eligible for annulment. It is critical that the misrepresentation be about something important and also that the victim of the fraud relied on the misrepresentation when agreeing to marriage. When looking at case law, you will see that something important would include getting married without the intention of living together as spouses or a failure to disclose a current marriage. The failure to disclose that a person is still married also runs into the legal problem of bigamy.

Bigamy is not just grounds for an annulment when it is at the heart of a fraud perpetrated on another in order to get married. It is a ground for annulment in and of itself. You cannot get married if one person is already married. In fact, bigamy is a third degree felony in Florida. It is also one of the most commonly asserted grounds for annulment.

Duress is another ground for annulment in Florida. Duress is considered to have occurred when there was pressure exerted on a person that was so strong that the consent to marriage ceased to be willful. In order for such pressure to rise to the level of duress, it must have occurred over time, throughout the process preceding the actual wedding or marriage ceremony.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Are you unsure whether you are eligible to seek an annulment in Florida? The dedicated Florida family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou can help assess your options. We can help you seek an annulment and, should that not be a viable option, we will stand by your side throughout divorce proceedings. Contact us today.

Andrew Nickolaou

Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew also handles record expungements and sealings. If you have questions about this article, contact Andrew today by clicking here.