Here are some key points about marriage annulment...

Family Legal Divorce

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While divorces and annulments both return parties back to the status of single persons, annulments terminate the present and past existence of the marriage. In other words, annulments treat the marriage as if it never occurred. Annulments require specific circumstances such as fraud or misrepresentation, incest, bigamy or lack of consent.

Eligibility for Annulment: To be eligible for an annulment in California, you must meet certain criteria, which typically include:

A. Bigamy: If one or both spouses were already married to someone else at the time of the marriage, the marriage can be annulled.

B. Incestuous marriage: If the spouses are closely related by blood, the marriage can be annulled.

C. Age: If one or both spouses were under the age of consent (usually 18) and did not have the required parental or court permission to marry, the marriage may be annulled.

D. Impotence: If one spouse was physically incapable of consummating the marriage, and the other spouse did not know about this before the marriage, an annulment may be granted.

E. Fraud, force, or incapacity: If the marriage was entered into due to fraud, force, or because one or both parties lacked the mental capacity to understand the nature of the marriage, it can be annulled.

Filing for Annulment: To initiate an annulment in California, you'll need to file a Petition for Nullity of Marriage in the family court. It's recommended to consult with an attorney to ensure you meet the specific legal requirements for annulment and to help you with the process.

Time Limit: In California, there is generally no time limit to file for an annulment based on bigamy, incest, or impotence. However, if you're seeking an annulment based on fraud, force, or incapacity, you must do so within four years of discovering the facts that form the basis for annulment.

Effect of Annulment: If a marriage is annulled, it is legally declared void from the beginning, as if it never existed. This can have implications for property division, spousal support, and child custody, depending on the specific circumstances of the annulment.

Children: If children were born during the marriage, the court will still address issues of child custody, visitation, and child support as if it were a divorce case, even though the marriage is annulled.