Many times a spouse will call our office seeking an annulment of marriage. Unlike a divorce case, in an annulment action you are trying to convince a court that the marriage was not valid and therefore never really existed in legal form even after the marriage ceremony occurred. This form of legal action is far different that the legal case of a dissolution of marriage. The procedure for getting an annulment is far different than that of a contested or uncontested divorce. An annulment is not governed by Florida Statute or Rule.
Unlike a divorce action, an annulment is a common law action brought in a court of equity. It is not uncommon for people to confuse the very different legal requirements for divorce and annulment. Only the aggrieved or innocent spouse may bring an action for annulment in the State of Florida. Similarly, this kind of action can only be brought for very specific reasons or criteria. The specific grounds are fraud, bigamy, or insanity. When a party pleads one of these grounds before the court they are basically saying the marriage is void or voidable due to the fraud, insanity, or bigamy of the other party.
One of the more common reasons for a party seeking an annulment is that of the mental illness of the other party. A showing that the other party was suffering from some form of mental incapacity or illness at the time of the marriage yet failed to fully disclose this fact to the aggrieved party may be grounds for an annulment. Similarly, a showing that one or both of the parties was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage may be grounds as well. Another example would be where the innocent party made a showing that his spouse was not old enough to be married at the time they entered into the marriage. Sometimes, the impotence of the other party may be grounds to seek an annulment.
Before seeking an annulment on your own it is imperative you seek counsel from a highly qualified Jacksonville annulment attorney. These cases can be tough to prove in a Florida Court and you should be armed with counsel that can both interpret and argue the common law. To prevail, you will have to file a legal action and go to court. You must litigate your case and present evidence supporting your grounds for the annulment. As previously stated, the laws pertaining to this area of practice are distinct from other areas of family law and can be challenging to an inexperienced attorney. As experienced trial attorneys we can assist you with your case today.
Contact our firm today for any questions you may have about this area of law. We can be reached at 904-356-8618 or in the email dialogue box above. Let us start assisting you with your family law matter today.