Typically, a couple has set a foundation in place to help a relationship grow into something sturdy before deciding to get married. However, after just after a few days, or even a few weeks, it can become clear things are not going to work. A short marriage can be a hard thing to accept, and the logistics of a divorce can seem unnecessary and unjust under the circumstances. Although it’s less common, another option can be to request an annulment.
An annulment effectively puts each spouse back in the situation each one was before the marriage. An annulment acts if the marriage never occurred. For short term marriages, annulments can be a desirable outcome. In reality, annulments are much more complicated to secure, including considerable extra time and expenses.
This fact does not mean annulments are always inappropriate, but both sides of the approach must be considered. For example, actors will seek annulment days after getting married based on allegations of fraud. Fraud is one of the primary reasons used to justify annulment, but as many grounds, an annulment is hard to establish.
Grounds for Annulment
Annulment is granted when a court determines that marriage is either void or voidable. Void marriages are based upon prohibited acts, and always must be issued by a court. Examples of void marriages include a spouse that is too closely related, one spouse that is under the legal age of consent (18 in Florida) and a spouse that is already married. These situations rarely happen, but when they do, they can be easily rectified and reasonably quickly. Most annulment petitions are based upon grounds that can deem a marriage voidable. The decision is up to the judge, and therefore, an uncertain outcome. Some of the most common factors used to claim an annulment is valid include:
Sham marriage or fraud: This happens when one spouse conceals a fact that is central to the marriage. An example of this would be, one spouse married to obtain immigration statues or for financial gain. It’s essential to keep in mind that one spouse must never have intended to live together as a married couple for this situation to be valid.
Inability to consent: If one or both spouses were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or mentally incapacitated at the time of the marriage, they would not have any legal ability to consent since they could not fully understand the severe nature of their actions.
>No consummation: If the marriage was never consummated, and this is brought up quickly, this could act as grounds for annulment. The more prolonged one spouse waits to disclose this information and petition for an annulment, the less likely a court will grant it.
When Should You Get an Annulment?
Given the time and expenses of getting an annulment, the decision of when to get one is not uncommon. Since annulments are designed to put each spouse back in their respective positions before the marriage, alimony and division of assets are no longer considered. If one spouse’s goal to keep the new spouse from pursuing these issues in a divorce, then an annulment could be the answer for them. However, if there are minor children, then child support may become an issue, depending on how the courts address the issue to resolve the case. Also, many people seek annulments due to religious reasons, especially when a faith does not accept a divorce. An experienced divorce attorney or family law attorney at Konicek Law can assist you with whether an annulment is a viable option for you or not.
Talk to a Florida Divorce Attorney
Marriages can be complicated arrangements that don’t always work out. If your marriage is new and you know it was the wrong decision, talk to an Orlando divorce attorney at Konicek Law about whether an annulment is an option for you. The family law attorney and divorce attorney at Konicek Law understand how to approach these complex situations and will work with you to develop a plan that supports your case. Contact our Orlando family law and divorce attorney firm today at 407-894-1122.