Does Your Marriage Qualify for an Annulment in Florida?
If you want to end your marriage in Orlando or other parts of Florida, there are two legal ways to do this:
- Divorce; or
Unlike many other states, the state of Florida recognizes annulment as one of the ways to terminate a marriage, though couples qualify for an annulment in limited cases. If you wish to annul your marriage, you must make sure that your case meets specific requirements.
Note: For most married couples, seeking a divorce is the only option to terminate their marriage.
Grounds for an Annulment of Marriage in Florida
In Florida, your marriage must meet specific requirements in order for you to petition the court for an annulment. When doing so, you are asking the court to declare that your marriage was never valid in the first place.
Obviously, your case must meet specific requirements in order to invalidate or nullify your marriage. The state of Florida recognizes several grounds for granting an annulment.
- One spouse is underage. If either spouse was under the age of 18 when getting married, the court might grant an annulment as long as the underage spouse lacked a parent’s permission and/or the court’s approval.
- Either spouse entered into the marriage under duress or fraud. In Florida, a marriage is considered valid only when both parties become married voluntarily. If you can prove that you were forced, pressured, or defrauded into the marriage, you are likely to obtain an annulment.
- Other grounds. While the above-mentioned are the most common grounds for an annulment in Florida, other grounds include incest, bigamy, mental incapacity, and either spouse’s inability or refusal to have sexual intercourse with the other spouse. Also, an annulment may be granted if either spouse was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when giving consent to the marriage. Additionally, a Florida court may grant an annulment if either spouse had a physical or mental disability that made him or her unable to consent to the marriage.
Void or Voidable Marriage to Obtain an Annulment
Florida law has no specific statute for an annulment of marriage. Therefore, the law does not set forth a procedure for annulling a marriage. Instead, Florida law provides that a marriage can be annulled as long as the marriage is void or voidable.
A void marriage is one that should not have been entered into in the first place. For instance, a marriage that happened when either party was underage or already married to someone else is void marriage. A marriage is voidable if either party can challenge the legitimacy of the marriage even though the marriage was initially valid (e.g., one spouse was forced or compelled into getting married).
Florida courts grant an annulment in rare cases. The vast majority of marriages are terminated through the divorce process because only a limited number of marriages qualify for an annulment. If you are not sure whether you should end your marriage via divorce or annulment, consult with our Orlando divorce attorneys at Donna Hung Law Group. Call at 407-999-0099 to schedule a consultation.