Rather than getting a divorce, some couples opt to seek an annulment. This differs from divorce in that it not only ends the marriage, but it also treats the marriage as if it never happened in the first place. In essence, it wipes the slate clean — at least in the eyes of the state.
Florida law has a set of stringent rules for annulling a marriage. However, marriages that are voidable due to some of these reasons could still be made valid by sexual consummation after the victim of fraud becomes aware of that fraud. For example, if one spouse convinced the other of an identity that was not actually his and the spouse who was lied to still has sex with that spouse after learning the truth, the marriage would not be eligible for an annulment.
These are the following reasons an annulment can be sought in Florida:
- Bigamy: One spouse was legally married to more than one person.
- Incest: The couple was closely related, either by marriage or by blood.
- Underage: The couple was not legally eligible to get married because they did not meet the state’s age requirements, or because one underage spouse did not get parental consent for the marriage.
- Incapacitation: One spouse was permanently or temporarily mentally incapacitated and therefore could not consent to the marriage. An example of a temporary incapacitation could include intoxication due to drugs or alcohol.
- Fraud: One of the spouses used misrepresentations or fraud to trick the spouse into getting married to them.
- Duress: One or both spouses entered into the marriage only because they were under duress at the time, such as a scenario in which one partner used some form of coercion against the other.
- Impotence: One spouse was impotent, and the other was unaware of that condition at the time of marriage.
- Joke: One or both spouses entered into the marriage as a joke.
To learn more about getting an annulment in Florida, work with an experienced family law attorney at Oberliesen & Henderson. Call our Shalimar office at 850-634-3785 or contact us online today.