When it comes to annulment, Florida is unique. Unlike most states, Florida does not have specific laws that deal with marriage annulment. Instead, the appellate courts have set out a number of binding decisions, or “precedents,” that act in the place of laws in the case of a Florida annulment. Because of this, annulments in Florida are rather uncommon, and can be quite difficult to navigate. It is important that you understand the grounds for an annulment in Florida and the exact steps that you must take to have your marriage legally annulled.
Many people wish to have their marriages annulled since an annulment essentially undoes a marriage rather than merely ending it. Just because you think that your marriage was a mistake, however, does not mean that it necessarily meets the criteria needed for an annulment. Florida maintains two main categories of annulment: marriages that are void and marriages that are voidable. A void marriage is one that was illegal or invalid from the beginning. This can include cases of bigamy, incest, cases in which both spouses are underage or of the same sex, or instances in which one spouse in permanently mentally incapacitated or otherwise unable to provide their consent to marriage.
Voidable marriages, on the other hand, must be proven as such. A marriage can be argued voidable if either spouse was intoxicated or suffering a temporary mental problem during the ceremony, thus rendering them unable to legally consent to marriage. Duress is another grounds for annulment, as is the instance of an underage spouse failing to secure parental consent. A marriage can also be deemed voidable is one spouse was unaware that the other was impotent or if either spouse followed through with the marriage as a joke.
One of the more contestable grounds for Florida annulment is the occurrence of fraudulent acts or misrepresentations used by one spouse to trick the other into joining them in marriage. The problem is that not all possible misrepresentations qualify, and the line of what does is somewhat blurry. The issue must directly pertain specifically to the marital relationship of the couple. If, for instance, one spouse had never actually intended to live with the other as a marriage couple, this would very likely be grounds for annulment. If one spouse lied about having plastic surgery, however, or something else that does not necessarily affect the marital relationship as such, annulment would not likely be an option.
If you have any questions about Florida annulment, or if you would like to speak to a Wesley Chapel family attorney about your options, please contact North Tampa Law Group at (813) 518-7411 or complete a free online case evaluation. We represent clients during stressful and difficult times in their lives. We are empathetic, responsive, and push for a quick resolution. We look forward to helping you resolve your issue quickly, fairly, and in a way that will help you to return to the stable, predictable life that you deserve.