Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys
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Carlsbad Annulment Attorneys

Annulment (Nullity): A Court Ruling Rendering A Marriage Void

An annulment in the context of California family law is an adjudication by a family court judge that a legal marital relationship never existed. Once a judgment of nullity is entered, the legal effect is that the marriage itself never happened. Only in certain situations will the parties to an annulled marriage have rights similar to those of a legally married couple.

A common misconception regarding annulments in California is that you can request an annulment due to “buyer’s remorse.” This is not the case. In fact, so long as both parties were of sound mind and no fraudulent activity or intentions existed, even a marriage that’s only been official for one day cannot be legally annulled in California.

A marriage that qualifies for an annulment is either void as illegal or voidable due to conditions present at the time the marriage was entered into.

  • Bigamous marriages (marriages where one party is married to someone else at the time) are
    automatically nullified upon showing that a prior marital relationship existed.
  • Marriages that do not meet the legal requirements of a valid marriage (marriage license and ceremony) are also automatically nullified.

Every other type of nullity requires additional proof and the family court judge has discretion to grant or deny the request for nullity.

If you are considering having your marriage annulled in San Diego County, contact our team before doing so. We would be happy to review the circumstances of your situation and assess your options for moving forward. Call us at 858-951-1526.

Voidable Discretionary Annulments

Voidable discretionary annulments include the following:

  • Marriage obtained by force.
  • One party has a physical incapacity to copulate.
  • One party was of unsound mind at the time the marriage took place.
  • Fraud is perpetrated by one party to induce the innocent partner into marriage.

Nullity based on fraud may include the concealment of pregnancy at the time of marriage, concealment of sterility, lying about a criminal record or immigration fraud, to name a few.

Your Rights As A Putative Spouse In A Nullified Marriage

Regardless of the manner by which a marriage is nullified, one or both parties may have the same rights to property division and financial support as they would in a valid marriage. This is because of the “putative spouse” legal doctrine.

If requested, the family court judge will grant putative spouse rights to the party of an annulled marriage that had a good faith belief that the marriage was valid. A putative spouse is entitled to spousal support and all property division rights that he or she would have had if the marriage had been valid all along.

For Annulment In Carlsbad, Call Griffith, Young & Lass

Annulments in California are a complicated area of family law, especially given the sensitive nature of the conditions that must exist in order to nullify a marriage legally. You do not want to pass up rights that you may be entitled to, which means you need to involve a Carlsbad annulment lawyer from our office as soon as possible. When you work with Griffith, Young & Lass, you’ll benefit from:

  • Accessible attorneys who are available after hours and on weekends, as needed
  • Two certified family law specialists who are considered experts in the field
  • Confident, results-driven attorneys who want to help you succeed

If you would like to weigh the pros and cons of a potential annulment given your particular situation, we are here to help.

Call our office at 858-951-1526 or complete an online contact form here and a member of our team will be in touch shortly. We’re here to help see you through this!