While most people seeking to end a marriage file for dissolution of marriage (divorce), occasionally it is more appropriate to nullify it. In essence, nullification of a marriage means that, for legal purposes, it never existed. Nullification is not as easily obtained as a divorce, but a San Diego divorce lawyer can assist in the process if you decide this is the avenue you wish to pursue.
Legal Justification for Nullifying a Marriage
Annulity can be achieved when a marriage is deemed illegal or deviates from California state requirements (California Family Code, section 2200). While coercion is one justification for nullification, consent is not, in itself, enough to establish a legal marriage. Just cause for seeking nullification can arise out of the following:
- Mental incapacity
- Underage spouse
- Other forms of deception, blackmail, etc.
An annulment can also be sought when one partner was sterile or pregnant and did not reveal this to the other prior to the marriage, or if a partner denies a sexual relationship to the other afterwards. Entering into a marriage solely for the purposes of one partner securing legal U.S. residence status is also a justification.
You should seek the assistance of a San Diego divorce lawyer if you need to get a court order for nullification of marriage. Such an order is not readily granted, and a lawyer who is well-versed in family law can best sort out all the details and present your case most effectively before the judge. Note that length of time of the union is not, in itself, grounds for nullification. Even if you were married only a day or two you may not be able to prove that the union should be nullified. The statutes of limitations vary depending upon the reason for annulment.
Nullification of a marriage that has lasted for an extended period can lead to rather complex issues, such as child custody, division of assets and debt, and visitation. Because nullification in effect means the marriage never existed, you cannot look to community property laws for an answer to these complications. You will need to work with the judge and your San Diego divorce lawyer to determine the best way of handing such matters.
For Legal Assistance
If you are seeking an annulment of a marriage, or need assistance with some other divorce/family law matter, call San Diego divorce lawyer for a consultation today. The number is (619) 866-3756.