There are many misconceptions about the requirements that allow a marriage annulment. If you have been married for a few days and have decided that you don’t like the person you married, if you have not consummated the marriage, or if you have any other reason as to why you don’t want to be married to that person any longer, can you file for an annulment? The answer is no. Whether you have been married for 2 days or 20 days, an annulment will not be granted just because you don’t like the person you married.
On the other hand, there is a legal way to void a marriage. The legal term for this is nullity. There are 2 types of nullity: nullity of a void marriage and nullity of a voidable marriage.
a. Nullity of a void marriage: A void marriage is one that is void and invalid from its beginning. It is as though the marriage never existed. The following are 2 examples of a void marriage:
1. Incestuous marriage – Family Code §2200. Marriage within the family.
2. Bigamous marriage – Family Code §2201. One party is already married to another person.
b. Nullity of a voidable marriage: A voidable marriage is one that can be cancelled by one of the parties. The following are examples of a voidable marriage:
1. Petitioner’s age at time of marriage – Family Code §2210(a). One of the parties is still a minor and did not seek his/her parents consent.
2. Prior existing marriage – Family Code §2210(b). One party is still married to another person and their divorce has not been finalized.
3. Unsound mind – Family Code §2210(c) . One party was of unsound mind at the time of the marriage, unless after coming to reason the party continues to live as Husband and Wife.
4. Fraud – Family Code §2210(d). One party commits fraud on the other causing that person to marry him/her. However, if the parties continue to live as husband and wife after discovering the fraud, the marriage may not be eligible for an annulment.
5. Force – Family Code §2210(e). One party is forced into marrying the other party. However, if the parties continue to live as husband and wife after the force is committed, the marriage may not be eligible for an annulment.
6. Physical incapacity – Family Code §2210(f). If either party was, at the time of marriage, physically incapable of entering into the marriage state, and that incapacity continues, and appears to be incurable, the marriage may be eligible for an annulment.
Need additional help in other family law areas besides information about annulment? Call the Law Office of Richard E. Bawden for legal issues regarding adoption, annulment, collaborative divorce, child custody, child support, divorce, domestic violence, legal separation, litigation, mediation, legal separation, paternity, spousal support, pre-marital and post-marital agreements. For more information, call Richard E. Bawden, State Certified Family Law Specialist, at 909.792.0222 or email us at [email protected] You might also want to get more information at our website: www.richardbawdenlaw.com. The Law Office of Richard E. Bawden serves the Inland Empire including Riverside, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Redlands, Loma Linda, Mentone, Yucaipa, Beaumont, Banning and Hemet.