Divorce With Respect

Understanding your options for an annulment in California

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2014 | English, Family Law, Firm News | 0 comments

There are numerous areas of family law that can seem fairly easy to understand. After all, people read about divorce, child custody and property division disputes quite frequently in the news. However, hearing about a problem and experiencing that problem are two very different things.

For instance, many readers may have heard the term “annulment” being used, often in the context of celebrity marriages. Based on these stories, people likely assume that annulments are something that must be obtained immediately after a wedding, and that invalidating a marriage consists of little more than signing a paper. However, those who are considering an annulment should know that this is not necessarily the case.

In California, an annulment (technically called a judgment of nullity) can be granted for a number of different reasons. For instance, if factors including bigamy, fraud or coercion played a role in getting married, the union can be declared invalid. Unlike a divorce, a person must be able to prove to the judge why a marriage was not legally valid. This includes testifying in front of the judge and often an audience.

In terms of the timing of an annulment, a person does not have mere hours to file, as some people may believe. Depending on individual circumstances, a marriage could be annulled as much as four years (or longer) after a wedding. The key is when were the grounds for the annulment discovered.

On the surface, annulments can seem like a quick fix to a fairly simple problem. But there are legal considerations that must be made and consequences of invalidating a marriage that people may not realize. There are also tax consequences to be considered. Exploring these potential issues and challenges with an attorney can be effective in helping people avoid making a costly mistake. Those who are interested in learning more about the options and limitations of annulment in California are encouraged to visit our webpage.