In Florida, the courts must determine an annulment by declaring that a marriage was never valid legally and the parties are restored to their previous status of not being married. An annulment can only happen if a marriage is void or voidable. Voidable marriages are technically valid until they are annulled, while void marriages are not recognized by the law as existing (or having legally existed). A marriage may be annulled if it is determined to have happened under coercion, fraud, or temporary insanity. A couple in such situations can petition the court for an annulment, and the marriage is legally considered to never have existed if the court grants it. While annulment is different from divorce, having an experienced divorce lawyer on your side to guide you through the process is critical to success.
Annulment Vs. Divorce
Divorce and annulment are two separate legal concepts in Florida. An annulment literally means “to make void,” and essentially makes it so that the marriage legally never took place. A divorce only ends the marriage, without erasing the legality of the marriage itself. In Florida, there isn’t any division of alimony or property during an annulment, unlike divorce. According to Florida’s annulment law, there isn’t any specific legal provision regarding the formal annulment of marriage under the state’s family law.
Divorce Lawyers Are Also Annulment Lawyers
While annulment and divorce are two different legal concepts, a divorce lawyer essentially is the same as an annulment lawyer. Since annulment requires a significant amount of proof, a Florida divorce lawyer can help gather evidence and guide you through the process. Having an experienced divorce lawyer on your side will ensure that the process goes as well as possible, especially if you and your current spouse own property and have children together.
Annulment Requirements In Florida
Annulment is often thought of in religious terms, as historically- such as with Henry the Eighth and Catherine- one of the terms for annulment was the lack of consummation of a marriage. Nowadays, the court won’t ask whether or not your marriage was consummated, and the answer doesn’t impact the court’s decision at all. In the U.S., the most common reason for annulments is when one spouse got married to their current spouse but hadn’t finalized a divorce from their previous marriage. In certain situations, one spouse may have intentionally misled the other into thinking they were completely divorced, while in others they may not have been aware themselves. Oftentimes annulment cases involve previous marriages that were solemnized in foreign countries. If the previously married spouse filed for divorce in another country and assumed it went through, and then married somebody in a new country, then it could be grounds for annulment.
How A Divorce Lawyer Can Help Your Annulment
If you share children with your spouse, an annulment doesn’t void your parental rights or obligations, or the right to a share of jointly owned property. However, the way division of property works does change. You will have to fight for every penny since there was technically no marriage and thus no marital property. This is why it’s critical to have the help of an experienced divorce lawyer.
Contact Us Today
An annulment is often just as complicated, if not more so, than a divorce. We are here to help you navigate your unique situation and assist with securing the best future for you and your children. Call Swickle & Associates to consult with a top Florida divorce lawyer today!