Not all marriages are meant to last. In fact, in some cases, a marriage may be very short-lived and the couple may be entitled to an annulment. California law allows a court to legally declare a marriage null and void. In other words, a court can annul a marriage when it agrees that it is not legally valid. Once a marriage has been annulled, it is like the nuptial or domestic partnership never happened because it was never legal.
2 Different Types of Marriage Annulments
California recognizes two different types of annulments, a civil annulment and a religious annulment. Only courts can issue civil annulments. You are not required to get a civil annulment in order to obtain a religious annulment. If you and your significant other were married in a religious ceremony, it is best to consult with your clergymen regarding the requirement to obtain a religious annulment.
Grounds For an Annulment in California
California laws allows a judge to annul a marriage for certain reasons, or a number of possible “grounds”, such as:
- The couple is related by blood
- One spouse was married before entering into the second marriage – known as bigamy
- The person requesting an annulment was a minor (under 18 years of age) at the time of the marriage
- One spouse fraudulently convinced the other spouse to get married. The fraud must go to the heart or essence of the marriage – that is, the fraud must have been something vital to the relationship to have deceived the other spouse to agree to get married.
- One of the spouses has an “incurable physical incapacity” – such as male impotence preventing the couple from having a marital relationship
- One or both of the spouses is of “unsound mind”
- Either spouse consented to getting married or filing a domestic partnership as a result of force
Whoever is seeking an annulment has the burden of proving he or she has valid ground for the request. Under California law, the proceedings for an annulment is the same as those in a divorce action. This means that one party must prepare and file a petition for annulment and ask the court to declare the marriage null and void.
Since there are limited reasons for successfully seeking an annulment of a marriage in California, it is best to hire an experienced Central Valley annulment attorney to help you with the process. Although this may seem like a simple process, getting an annulment can be complicated. If you do not follow the rules, you may lose your case and the court will not grant your annulment.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Annulment Attorney
If you are planning to seek an annulment, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Central Valley annulment attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.