According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 782,038 divorces and annulments in the United States in 2020. In California, a marriage or domestic relationship that is invalid right from the very beginning may be dissolved by petitioning for an annulment. If you are considering filing for an annulment, consulting with an experienced California family law attorney is necessary for proper guidance.
Attorney Karen S. Brown is committed to providing comprehensive guidance to clients in family law matters, including divorce and annulments. She is available to discuss your situation and help you understand the available options to end your marriage. As your legal counsel, Karen S. Brown can offer you the advice and guidance you need on how to dissolve your marriage as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.
The Law Office of Karen S. Brown proudly serves clients throughout Los Angeles County, Beverly Hills, Orange County, Ventura County, and Long Beach, California.
An annulment can be described as a legal procedure that invalidates a marriage. In California, an annulment can occur when the court issues an order that voids the marriage or domestic partnership. After an annulment, it is just like your marriage never happened since it was never legally valid.
Some effects of getting an annulment include:
An annulled marriage has no validity
Children born of the annulled marriage will be presumed to have been born to single parents
Paternity must be established to protect your child support, custody, and visitation rights
California courts have no legal authority to award spousal support, divide property, or debts since the annulled marriage is considered not legally valid
There are high financial and familial stakes involved in getting an annulment
The divorce process will dissolve the marriage formally, and address the legal ramifications of ending the marriage. Divorce also makes arrangements for marital asset division, child custody, parenting time, and alimony. Conversely, an annulment will void the marriage or domestic relationship entirely, making it like it never happened. Consequently, the court cannot award alimony or divide property in an annulment.
To be eligible for annulment in California, there are statutory requirements or “grounds,” including:
The spouses being related by blood
One of the spouses was already married before entering into another marriage
The person seeking the annulment was under 18 years of age at the time of the marriage
Either spouse was of "unsound mind" and unable to understand the potential implications
Either party obtained the other spouse's consent to marriage through fraud, coercion, or force
One of the spouses has an "incurable physical incapacity"
In California, the statute of limitations or deadline for filing for an annulment depends on the reason for the annulment.
Prior Existing Marriage: An annulment must be filed while both parties are still alive.
Age at The Time of the Marriage: An annulment must be filed within four years after reaching 18 years of age.
Unsound Mind: An annulment must be filed any time before the death of either party.
Fraud: An annulment must be filed within four years of discovering the fraud.
Force: An annulment must be filed within four years of getting married.
Incurable Physical Incapacity: An annulment must be filed within four years of getting married.
In California, the process for obtaining an annulment is quite similar to getting a divorce. The steps are as follows:
Obtain and fill out your legal forms
Have your attorney review the forms
Make extra copies of your forms
File your forms with the court clerk
Serve copies of the court forms to your spouse
After serving papers, allow up to 30 days for the other party to respond
Schedule and attend a court hearing
An experienced annulment attorney can guide you through the entire process and help you resolve other related issues, including property division, child support, custody, and visitation.
Petitioning for annulment in California involves several complicated procedures. Understanding the resulting impact and statutory grounds, determining your eligibility, and filing the necessary legal paperwork require proper guidance and experienced representation. A knowledgeable California annulment attorney can review your situation and help you explore your available legal options.
Attorney Karen S. Brown has devoted her career to guiding clients through the complexities of California family law. As your legal counsel, she will discuss every detail of your case with you, evaluate your unique circumstances, and determine whether your situation falls within the statutory grounds for an annulment. Using her extensive experience, she will guide you through the entire process and work diligently with all parties involved to resolve key marital issues as quickly and peacefully as possible.
If you believe that your marriage should never have happened and you’re seeking an annulment, contact the Law Office of Karen S. Brown to schedule a one-on-one consultation. Attorney Karen S. Brown can offer you the comprehensive guidance and compassionate representation you need. She proudly represents clients throughout Los Angeles County, Beverly Hills, Orange County, Ventura County, and Long Beach, California.