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Can Our Marriage Be Annulled?

When a couple divorces, the court decrees that the marriage is dissolved. When a marriage is annulled, the court decrees that the marriage could not legally have taken place and therefore never did. Florida does not have any specific law regarding annulment, but under certain specific conditions a judge can grant an annulment if the marriage meets the requirements within a very narrow definition.

A marriage can be annulled under these conditions:

  • Fraud — If one partner has withheld or misrepresented factual personal information, the marriage is not valid.
  • Inability to consummate the marriage — If one partner is not capable of having sexual relations, the marriage is not valid. This does not apply to a case in which the partners had marital relations and then one partner lost interest.
  • Mental incapacity — Both partners must be mentally capable of understanding the implications of and obligations that accompany marriage. If one partner does not understand the terms of marriage, it is not valid.
  • Lack of intent to marry — A marriage that is performed as a joke or under the influence of drugs or alcohol is invalid.
  • Bigamy — If one partner is married to someone else, or one partner does not have a final divorce decree, the marriage is not valid. In some cases, if the decree comes within a few days of the marriage, the divorce can be backdated so as to make the current marriage valid.
  • Consanguinity — If the partners are related in any of the relationships that are prohibited by law, the marriage is invalid.
  • Age requirement — There is no legal marriage between partners who are not both of legal age to marry. In the event they are allowed to marry, the parents of the underage partner can petition to have the marriage annulled.

If you suspect your marriage is not valid, a Boca Raton divorce attorney can assist you in petitioning for an annulment. If you do not qualify for an annulment, your attorney may be able to help you in seeking a simple dissolution of marriage.

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