For religious, business, or personal reasons, some couples may want to have their marriage either annulled or nullified instead of going through the divorce process. This is not as easy as it seems because most couples probably won’t qualify for the required criteria.
In order for a judge to grant an annulment in California, your marriage would need to be considered legally invalid to begin with.
One of the criteria described below must exist in a marriage in order for a judge to grant an annulment. It will also be necessary to present proof that fully demonstrates the circumstance in question.
If one or both parties were still married to someone else at the time of the marriage but not living with or in contact with them, they would not be considered bigamous. They would, however, not be free to become married again, making the marriage contract illegal and invalid.
If one or both parties were a minor at the time they got married or entered into a domestic partnership, the marriage would also be invalid. This is one of the easiest things to prove and can make an annulment fairly cut-and-dry.
In order for a contract of any kind to be legally binding, both parties must understand what they are doing and be of sound mind. For example, if you got married during a drunken daze, there is a good chance that you will not remember it, and that you certainly would not have been of “sound mind.”
It would be rare for people to get married and know every single detail about their spouse’s current or former life. Rather, those details tend to unfold over time. However, if something essential to the relationship was purposefully concealed, that could be considered fraudulent. An example would be getting married while discussing having children, while knowing that you were physically incapable of doing so.
Close blood relatives should not marry or become domestic partners, so incest automatically makes a marriage or domestic partnership invalid.
What separates a marriage relationship from a friendship is often the consummation of sexual relations. If one party is unable to do so and will always be unable to do so, the marriage can be annulled.
If one party agreed to the marriage because he or she was afraid of being harmed or of a loved one being harmed, the marriage would be invalid.
It can be difficult to prove that a marriage is invalid because in most cases a couple lives together acting as husband and wife and live within the parameters of a marital relationship. Most annulment cases come about because one person feels that he or she was treated fraudulently or threatened by the other.
Proving this requires gathering evidence that can be presented before a judge. Keep in mind that a judge does not have to grant your annulment and can simply say that you have to go through the divorce process. This makes being thorough and working with a skilled family law attorney critical to your success.