Divorce is the untangling of legal bonds that create a marriage. An annulment is somewhat different; in California, it is known as “the nullity of marriage.” Once an annulment is granted, the marriage is considered to have never existed in the eyes of the law. At Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, we have significant experience in helping clients seek annulment.
People seek annulment for a variety of reasons. Some people do not want the stigma associated with divorce. Others want their marriage annulled for religious reasons or so they can get remarried in the church. California has established a number of reasons for granting annulments:
- One spouse was under the age of consent (18) and did not obtain parental permission prior to the marriage
- One spouse was married at the time the marriage occurred
- One partner was of unsound mind at the time of the marriage
- One partner threatened acts of harm to force a partner into marriage
- The marriage was never consummated as a result of incapacity
Many people mistakenly believe that the length of marriage has an impact on whether it can be voided. As long as the marriage meets one of the grounds of annulment, it is a voidable marriage. Thus, many long-term marriages can be annulled and some people married for only a short time must seek a divorce. Because divorce is easier than an annulment and can be achieved with a simple claim of irreconcilable differences, most people prefer divorce to an annulment. However, when a client wants to annul a marriage for religious or personal reasons, our attorneys have the experience to pursue that option vigorously.