February 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Determining if a marriage qualifies for annulment
Article provided by Law Offices of Grewal & Associates
Visit us at http://www.connichlaw.com
California married couples considering ending their marriages may wonder if they qualify for an annulment rather than a divorce. There are several important differences between a divorce and an annulment.
Differences between a divorce and an annulment
Both a divorce and an annulment are ways to end a marriage. However, a divorce acknowledges that a marriage existed at one time and is now dissolved. In contrast, an annulment treats a marriage as if it never existed.
An annulment is designed for an individual who discovers something crucial about his or her spouses after the marriage that affects the validity of the marriage. Filing for an annulment must be done within certain time limits, depending on the reason. For example, in California, in cases of fraud, a spouse must file for an annulment within four years after discovering the fraud.
An annulled marriage is void and treated as though it never occurred. Certain marriages are always considered void. For example, incestuous and bigamous marriages are never lawful. If two individuals are found to possess a close blood relationship, the marriage is invalid. Additionally, if one spouse is already married, then a subsequent marriage is automatically void.
Because annulled marriages are treated as if they never took place, certain privileges that apply to divorces may not apply in cases of annulment. For instance, certain property division or spousal support requirements may not be available.
Common annulment requirements
Examples of reasons for an annulment include:
-Fraud or concealment
-Lack of required mental capacity
Discovering a spouse has previous a criminal history or a sexually transmitted disease are typical annulment grounds. Additionally, a marriage qualifies for an annulment if a spouse lied about a critical fact such as his or her age or current marital status.
While bigamy is automatic grounds for an annulment, a marriage also qualifies if a spouse was previously married but the previous spouse's whereabouts are unknown for a minimum of five years. A marriage is also eligible for annulment if a former spouse who is declared legally dead suddenly resurfaces.
An individual who is intoxicated, legally insane or otherwise forcibly coerced into the marriage may lack the required mental capacity to enter into the marriage. Physical incapacity is another potential reason to file for an annulment. Physical incapacity occurs when one spouse is unable to properly consummate the marital relationship and it appears this condition is permanent.
Finally, impotency is ground for annulment. As long as the spouse seeking the annulment was unaware of the impotency before the marriage, an annulment is an option.
Reasons people prefer annulments
There are several reasons individuals may prefer an annulment over a divorce. Some religions still discourage divorce, and an individual may wish to avoid acquiring a negative reputation because of a divorce.
Other times the situation is simply so uncomfortable that one or both spouses may decide to treat the marriage as non-existent. It is sometimes easier to not acknowledge the former reality of the marriage.
Spouses wondering if they qualify for an annulment can benefit from speaking to an experienced marriage annulment lawyer. The lawyer can provide knowledge and guidance and explain all available options for dissolving the marriage.---
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