Marriage and Annulment – We Did or We Didn’t
Technically speaking, Florida laws do not address the issue of annulment directly. However, Florida’s appellate courts have precedent rulings, which provide guidelines for when annulment may be an option. Still, it’s not as simple as seeking a straight-forward dissolution of marriage.
“Determining grounds for annulment is trickier than filing for a divorce. You have to prove one or both parties were incapacitated or under coercion, as well as if one spouse misrepresented their intentions – these are the kinds of criteria that may be cited as grounds for annulment. They are extreme cases for the most part,” said Norman A. Green, Senior Partner at Green & Metcalf P.A. of Vero Beach, FL.
A marriage that is void, on the other hand, can be annulled based on the simple fact it was never legitimate in the first place. For example, if one party is already married, then the union would be rendered void. Even in this situation, it’s still advisable to seek an annulment, as an annulment takes the voided marriage one step further – instead of labeling the marriage invalid, an annulment essentially means it never happened.
“Even a marriage that would be considered voidable can be ratified. If the marriage is consummated, it could take the option of an annulment off the table. Florida law assumes all marriages are valid from the outset. It’s incumbent on the injured spouse and their attorney to prove otherwise,” Green said.
Norman A. Green is the founder and a partner of Green & Metcalf - Attorneys At Law. He has over 40 years of experience in the practice fields of criminal defense and family law (divorce, child custody, child support, paternity, modifications of existing orders, prenuptial agreements and alimony cases).