When Can a Marriage Be Annulled

When Can a Marriage Be Annulled?

Magicians sometimes wave a magic wand over objects to make them vanish. When it comes to making a marriage disappear, the courts don’t have a magic wand. Instead, judges wield California laws that allow annulment. However, under what circumstances can a marriage be annulled?

What Really Happens to an Annulled Marriage?

The marriage is considered invalid. In fact, it’s as if it never existed. Some marriages are always considered invalid, whether you request an annulment or not. Spouses cannot be close blood relatives or what might be considered an incestuous relationship. Also, spouses cannot be legally married or in a registered domestic partnership with someone else.

Marriages May Be Annulled Due to a Problem with One Partner

Of course, it takes two people to have a marriage. However, that relationship can be terminated if one spouse is:
  • Underage. Annulment may be granted if one or both people were under age 18 as of the wedding date.
  • Unsound Mind. If one party lacks the capacity to understand the wedding ceremony, the marriage may be dissolved. Someone who is underage, intellectually challenged, or senile may be unable to agree to a marriage.
  • Unable to Consummate. One party may request an annulment if the other party is unable to consummate the marriage due to a physical incapacity that is expected to be incurable.
Marriages may also be dissolved for other reasons.

An Annulment Might Be Requested Because of One Party’s Actions

Sometimes one party may do something that makes annulment possible:
  • Fraud. One party may lie or misrepresent an issue that directly affects the other party’s decision to marry. This is considered fraud. For example, green-card marriages can be dissolved through annulment.
  • Force. Marriages can be annulled when one party forces the other party to marry against their will.

A Marriage Can Be Annulled, but Deadlines Apply

Annulments must be requested within certain time frames. For example, you have four years after the date an underage spouse turns 18 within which to request an annulment. Other deadlines apply, depending on the reason for the annulment. Please call us at 415-293-8314 to discuss your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger assist clients with divorce matters in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.
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