An annulment wipes out your marriage off the books, as if it never happened or existed. It is a legal proceeding declaring the marriage null and void.
Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) December 22, 2010 – There are certain requirements and criteria that need to be proven and obtained in order to get an annulment. The validity of a marriage before and during the marriage is a key factor. The question that needs to be asked is, was it a true marriage? Each state is different in what they would consider grounds for an annulment and what is permissible. The couple must go to a hearing and appear before a family court judge, who will grant the annulment.
A civil annulment is through the state and government and a religious annulment is through religious institutions with their own rites and passages. They exist separately. A religious annulment does not wipe out the marriage legally and vice versa. People who want both types of annulments will need to apply for both separately.
In the state of California, the main criteria for couples seeking for an annulment are fraud, marriage by force, bigamy, incest, physical or mental capacity and age.
An annulment on the grounds of fraud is based upon misrepresentation or information concealed by a spouse. These can include an array of situations such as not disclosing criminal record, having sexual relations with another, having an existing pregnancy, sterility or impotence, or marrying solely just to get a green card.
“It is recommended that anyone seeking or delaying an annulment to seek the advice of a competent lawyer to determine what constitutes grounds for an annulment because situations can be various and unique,” said Gerald A. Maggio, an Orange County divorce attorney.
Marriage by force (usually through coercion or threats), physical or mental incapacitation at the time of the marriage, under the age of 18 status, and marriages that are incestuous are all major grounds for annulments.
“In addition,” Maggio said, “children born of the marriage are not considered illegitimate after an annulment. Custody and child support applies the same as they would in a divorce.”
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