Annulment in Florida

Divorce Papers » Annulment in Florida

Annulment in Florida is usually filed mainly for religious purposes and is accompanied by church annulment or an annulment from a religious authority. There is no formal rule or statute regarding the governance of annulment in Florida. The laws are mostly undefined and the grounds are difficult to prove. Besides, it is also not easy to fulfill the requirements necessary for filing the annulment in the court of Florida.

The annulment in Florida implies that a valid and legal marriage never happened and thus, it was either void or became voidable according to the rules of legal marriage in Florida. There are two types of marriages which are eligible for an annulment in the state of Florida. These types are as follows:

  1. Void Marriages - The marriages which "never should have been" are known as void marriages. The examples of these marriages are bigamous marriages, incestuous marriages, underage marriages, etc.
  2. Voidable Marriages - The voidable marriages are valid and they have a ground to exist, but some discovery or the other on the part of spouse renders them invalid; for instance, mental illness, impotency or fraud at the time of marriage etc. come in this category.

Grounds for Annulment in Florida:

The annulment in Florida is also known as a "Simplified Dissolution of Marriage", though it is not as simplified as it sounds. The grounds for eligibility for annulment are very complex and it is difficult to fulfill them. Let's have a detailed look at these grounds:

  • Duress - A marriage entered against one's better judgment due to threats, violence or constraints such as kidnapping is a void marriage because it is performed under the pressure and due to supposed threat to one's well-being. Such a marriage is considered invalid right from the beginning and thus the petition can be filed for an annulment.

    This marriage lacks the free consent and will of the partner suffering from duress and thus can be annulled on the same grounds.

  • Significant Misunderstanding - Any misunderstanding which is significant for a healthy marital relationship such as fake pregnancy, concealment of gender, not enlightening the current partner of the responsibilities from a previous marriage such as children and alimony and child support payments, etc. harm the trust that the wronged partner has placed into his / her spouse.

    Thus, a misunderstanding which hampers the normal smooth functioning of a marriage can be a ground for an annulment in the state of Florida.

  • Bigamy - A person is not supposed to marry another person if he / she is already married to a spouse and the marriage hasn't been dissolved. Such a marriage is considered as bigamous marriage which is illegal in every state of the USA including Florida.

    As it is illegal and prohibited marriage, it is considered as null and void right from its inception and annulment can be granted on the grounds of bigamy.

  • Incestuous Marriage - A marriage within the blood relatives is another example of illegal and prohibited marriage. One is not supposed to marry one's blood relatives whether full or half blood. These include parent, grandparent, sibling, cousin, step-parent, step-grandparent, son, daughter, step-son, step-daughter or any relation which has formed due to birth and due to marriage.

    This marriage is considered null and void from the beginning and thus, the annulment can be granted on the grounds of incest.

  • Concealment - Concealment is hiding important facts from the spouse one is marrying. This could be anything from sexual orientation, imprisonment, incarceration, sadomasochism, conviction of fraud or felony, sex-change operation or anything that seriously endangers the well-being of the partner and the smooth functioning of a marriage.

    These allegations need to be proved in front of the court to get an annulment in the state of Florida.

  • Underage Marriage - An underage marriage is a marriage between the spouses who are not legally adult and not mature enough to understand the meaning of the wedlock and the lifelong commitment that is necessary for it to be a success.

    Such a marriage lacks the free consent of the partners as well as the parental consent necessary for underage marriages in case of pregnancy or other emergency reasons.

  • Force - When an individual is forced to get married to a certain individual by threatening him / her or by taking him / her at a gunpoint, such marriage is called a forced or a gunshot marriage.

    This marriage lacks the free consent and the free will of the wronged individual and denies him / her the liberty to be a free agent. In the wake of this situation, such marriages are annulled immediately if the concern for safety is cited along with force.

However, in Florida, the percentage of granting an annulment is very low. It is important to notice that consummation of marriage ratifies an invalid marriage and the couple cannot file for annulment after indulging in sexual relations with each other. Even after the sufficient grounds are provided and the annulment case is processed, chances are that the judge rejects the plea at the final hearing and asks the party to appeal for divorce or legal separation at the least; which brings one back to square one. Thus, it is advisable to file for divorce in Florida in stead of annulment.

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