People will often throw the terms annulment and divorce around and use them interchangeably. However, it’s important to know that an annulment and a divorce have two very different meanings. This is especially important for you to know if you’re considering dissolving your marriage. If you file for a divorce, then you’re legally ending a marriage. If you file for an annulment, the marriage not only ends, but the marriage is erased as if it never existed. Unlike a divorce, every marriage doesn’t qualify for an annulment. You need to provide a valid reason to get an annulment in California. We discuss these reasons in this article as well as how to get an annulment in California.
Reasons to Get an Annulment in California
As mentioned above, not every marriage can end in an annulment. You have to prove that there are extenuating circumstances that validate your reason to file for an annulment. Either party can initiate an annulment in California, but they have to be able to provide sufficient evidence to support the annulment laws in the state. Here are a few of the reasons why someone would be granted the right to get an annulment in California.
In cases of proven fraud, you will be able to go through the annulment process. While there are a plethora of different ways to commit fraud, it must be considered part of the “essence of the marriage” in order to file for an annulment. For instance, cases of green card marriages fall under the definition of fraud in annulment cases.
You may be granted an annulment if one of the parties was under the age of 18 when the marriage first took place. Blood Relation: If you’re able to prove that there is blood relation between the two married parties, you may be granted an annulment.
If you suddenly find out that your spouse has been previously married and that marriage never legally ended, you can file for an annulment to end your marriage.
if you’re able to prove that you or your spouse were unable to understand the weight of the situation when the marriage occurred, you may be warranted an annulment. This is often used for those who may have been heavily under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the marriage took place. While it can be hard to prove, it’s a common avenue for annulment cases.
If you’re able to prove that you were forced into your marriage, you may be able to get an annulment in California.
Incurable Physical Incapacity
If one of the parties suffers from an incurable physical ailment that prevents them from having sex or producing children, you may be able to get an annulment in California.
How to File for an Annulment in California
Filing for an annulment is much like filing for a divorce in California. However, there are a few steps in the process that make it unique. For instance, being able to prove a significant reason for the annulment that falls into one of the categories mentioned above. Here’s a quick guide to give you a better idea of how to file:
You need to fill out both the Petition and Summons court forms (FL-100 & FL-110). The petition -marriage/domestic partnership form is where you provide information about your marriage and the reasons why you believe it should be annulled. The summons form contains important information about the family courts and explains what you can and cannot do during a separation with regards to money, property, or shared debts.
Form MC-030 is where you provide extensive details in the reasons why you believe you should be granted an annulment. This is basically a declaration of your case. Be sure all statements are factual.
Make sure all forms are reviewed by your family lawyer or a family law facilitator. Remember that these forms and this process can be complex. Before you choose to move forward, make sure a legal expert has reviewed all of your statements, supporting documents, and court forms to assure you everything has been completed correctly. Be sure to make copies of all of your forms for your own records.
Submit your forms with the Court Clerk. Remember that you will have to pay a filing fee at this point.
This is the point when you must serve your spouse with copies of all of your court forms. For more information on how to serve someone, contact a legal professional.
Finally, you will set up a court hearing and appear before a judge. It’s important to have an experienced family lawyer on your side at this point. A lawyer can help you to set up your hearing, serve your spouse, and prepare your case for the judge. Contact a family lawyer today to learn more about how to get an annulment in California