Under Florida’s law once the marriage has been established it can only be terminated by death or court order- the court has the power to dissolve the marriage by either divorce or annulment.

Annulment in Florida and divorce might seem strikingly similar however in the eye of law they are completely different. Divorce refers to ending a marital relationship that was recognized by the law of court while annulment is associated with ending a marriage that was never recognized by a court as a marriage, in other words, an annulled marriage in the eyes of the court never existed in the first place. Even though the laws of Florida do not directly address annulment but Florida’s appellate. The court in recent years has had issues binding decisions on annulment issues under the name of ‘precedents’. Annulment proceedings are governed by Florida’s family law rules of procedure

Step 1 – Find Out When Can You File Annulment In Florida ?

In Florida, there is no time period after your marriage in which you can get an annulment if your marriage is not working out and you have sufficient proof to support your case. Annulment filing in Florida has to meet certain criteria which include: bigamous (one of the partners is married to more than one person), incestuous, mental incapacity (either person was suffering from a mental illness at the time or was intoxicated), impotence (if the marriage is not consummated), fraud ie, one of the spouses lied about their health or severity of disease for which would ultimately disrupt their marriage example, not disclosing information of suffering from HIV. Besides that under-aged marriage; if a person doesn’t fall under the legal age of marriage they or their parents/guardian can call for annulment. Moreover, an annulment can be granted on the basis of the duress -if the filer for an annulment can prove that they had no will or were forced into the marriage, they can also be granted an annulment in the state of Florida. If the court finds the severity of the spouse’s misconduct alarming and damaging enough, it can order the wrongdoing spouse to pay permanent alimony for all the trouble they caused (financial support to be provided as per the order of the court) along with the fee of their attorney.

Step 2 – Get The Court Order

In order to get an annulment in Florida, one must get the court order to annul it. To do that Annulment papers are filed in Florida’s circuit courts, which sit in “chancery” (equity) and can hear annulment cases because they have correctable powers. This process could be emotionally tiring. The defendant’s side is likely to argue and disclaim the filer’s proof leading to complications. The defendant’s side has a big opportunity as laws of Florida recognize all marriages as legal so the filer needs strong proof to counter the defendant. Courts however do not grant annulments in every case, more often than not, they may dismiss the case all in all and grant a divorce instead. In order to avoid this dismissal, it is vital for the individual to have a good family law attorney by their side to guide them step by step in filing the petition.

Step 3 – When You Have Children/Property Involved

Annulling a marriage in florida can become a challenge and worrisome baggage especially for those with children. You may also be required to provide a statement as to how many children you had from this particular marriage as well as any marital property that you share. Fortunately, annulling a marriage in Florida doesn’t deny the legitimacy of the children. Furthermore, it protects the less financially stable individual by ordering the stable one to pay the attorney fee if the judge deems it appropriate. 

Step 4 – After Annulment in Florida Is Granted

Once annulment is granted, the couple has to divide their mutual property with almost no intervention from the side of the court. After the annulment, the spouses can have a claim on one another’s property and take benefit in the form of insurance, bank money, and/or retirement paychecks.

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