When an Annulment is the Right Option
Once you have decided your marriage is over, the next step is to decide what to do about it. Most people automatically think divorce is the only option. However, filing for an annulment of your marriage may be feasible and will definitely be less expensive. Before deciding which option is right for you, it is necessary to understand a bit more about both.
The bulk of California marriages that end do so through a divorce. A divorce is nothing more than a legal process that officially ends the marriage contract. In contrast, an annulment is a legal process that demonstrates the marriage contract was not legal. The marriage contract is viewed as legal during a divorce. Since it is a legal contract, it needs to be legally terminated. The marriage contract is viewed as illegal during an annulment. Since it is not a legal contract, there is no contract to dissolve just a validation that the marriage did not actually exist.
We offer a divorce guide that provides clear explanations on how legal separation, divorce, and annulment differ from one another. The following is a summary of qualifying factors that must be met under California law for an annulment to be a viable option for you.
Getting a Marriage Annulled in California
Marriages may be invalid if:
- Incest is involved. The law prohibits marriage between blood relatives.
- Bigamy is involved. The law prohibits marriage between any two people if one is currently married to another person.
Marriages may be void if:
- One of the spouses was forced to enter in to the marriage or has a physical or mental limitation that prevents them from making an informed decision
- One of the spouses was not of the age of consent and did not have legal consent from a parent to get married.