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California Annulment Attorney

Marital dissolution (divorce) and annulment (nullity) are based on two completely different legal premises. Whereas a dissolution action terminates a valid marriage on grounds arising after the marriage ceremony, a nullity proceeding is based on the contention that, for reasons already existing at the time of the marriage ceremony, no valid marriage ever occurred. In other words, whereas a dissolution action seeks to terminate marital status, a nullity action declares that no such status ever existed.

In a nullity action, the complainant asserts the marriage was either void, or voidable, from its inception.

A voidable marriage is treated as valid until legal judgment has been passed on it. Such a marriage is subject to a Statute of Limitations and will become valid if it is not judged to be invalid within a specified time period. The party wishing for the annulment carries the responsibility for proving that one of the following grounds for annulment existed at the time of the marriage:

  • Under age 18 without parental consent
  • Unsound mind
  • Force
  • Physical Incapacity
  • Fraud

In contrast, a void marriage never was valid. A marriage may be invalid from its inception because of technical irregularities, such as issues with the license, solemnization or authentication, or because of other legal impediments that render a marriage void. Examples would include incest and bigamy.

There exists a slight legal possibility that parties to void or voidable marriages can obtain "putative spouse" status. Conversely, unmarried cohabitants have no marital rights.

Annulments are granted, but not often. Specific criteria will guide the determination on a case by case basis. And regardless of whether a marriage is void or voidable, a party may still require court intervention on child custody, visitation and child support. In the end, legal advice and guidance from a trusted family law attorney is vital if you are seeking to nullify your marriage. Contact us to arrange your consultation.

Folsom Divorce Lawyer
What to bring on your first appointment
Will questionnaire
income/expense declaration
schedule of assets and debts
Notice regarding healthcare responsibilities

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this website should be taken as legal advice for any individual case. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship or duty of confidentiality.