There are a variety of different reasons people would like their marriage annulled; however, there are only very specific incidences that permit an annulment in the State of Florida.
Below are the Florida grounds for an annulment:
- The marriage is void because it’s bigamous (this means that one spouse is legally married to more than one person), incestuous (the couple is closely related by blood or marriage), the union consists two underage people, or because one spouse is permanently mentally incapacitated and unable to consent to marriage. Although these marriages are void by their very nature, it is still advisable to obtain an annulment.
- The marriage is voidable because one of the spouses lacked the ability to consent to marriage. During the ceremony, the spouse was suffering from a serious, but temporary mental problem, or was under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or drugs.
- The marriage is voidable because one spouse is impotent, and the other spouse did not know it at the time of marriage.
- The marriage is voidable because one of the spouses used fraudulent acts, or misrepresentations to trick the other spouse into entering the marriage. Not all misrepresentations will qualify. A qualifying fraud goes to the essence of the marital relationship. What that means is if a spouse married just to obtain a green card for immigration purposes, this can qualify.
- The marriage is voidable because one spouse is underage and entered the marriage without the consent of a parent, or guardian.
- The marriage is voidable because one or both spouses only entered into the marriage because they were under duress. This can be defined as extreme coercion, or possibly even force. It will have to be proven to a court that the duress was current at the time of the marriage, not a regret later.
- The marriage is voidable because one, or both spouses entered the marriage as a joke.
In Florida, a voidable marriage can be ratified if after the fraud is discovered by the party who was defrauded learns of the fraud and consents to sexual consummation. The content after the “wrongdoing” essentially waives any right to complain about the wrongdoing and the voidable marriage becomes a valid marriage. It can only be undone by a dissolution of marriage.
To learn if your marriage qualifies for an annulment, and if that is in your best interest (regarding assets, liabilities and maybe even a child) contact an attorney to make sure you are making the right decision.
Schwam-Wilcox & Associates, Attorneys & Counselors At Law
Offices: Orlando, Kissimmee, and The Villages
“When you’re going through your worst we are at our best!”