Annulment Lawyer in Corona
California Annulment Laws
An annulment is the process of terminating a marriage, but unlike a divorce, after an annulment is finalized the marriage will be considered void, as if it never existed. No record of the marriage will be filed on public records. Divorce, on the other hand, is the dissolution of marriage, and the fact that the marriage existed will be kept on file with the court, available for inspection should anyone seek the information.
If you are in search of an annulment, a divorce lawyer can assist in determining whether you qualify to file for one based on state laws. The legal professionals Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich have handled thousands of cases over a combined total of more than 50 years. Because Attorney Danica Hanich is Board Certified in Family Law, we can confidently say that we are prepared to counsel you in the most complex cases.
Grounds for an Annulment
Not all couples who apply for an annulment will be granted one. To be granted an annulment, a couple must meet at least one of the following circumstances:
- Underage marriage: This means that at the time of the marriage, one of the spouses was under the age of 18 & had not received parental consent.
- Previously Existing Marriage: Also known as "bigamy," a person cannot enter into another marriage if they are still legally, and knowingly, involved in a previous domestic partnership.
- Coercion: A marriage may be voided if one of the spouses was coerced and/or manipulated into the marriage in the first place.
- Physical Incapacity: If one spouse is unable to consummate the marriage, this may be grounds to void the partnership.
- Forced Marriage: This includes any verbal threats and/or physical harm that were used to force someone into marriage.
- Fraudulent Marriage: This can include any deception in regard to significant circumstances during the marriage.
- Incestuous Marriage: If the spouses are directly related by a close bloodline, this is an illegal form of marriage under the law.
- Unsound Mind: If at the time of the marriage either party was unable to understand what was happening and what would happen as a result of the marriage.
- Fraud: This is also ground for divorce, but fraud in the case of annulment had to do with a factor vital to the marriage relationship. Just as an example, marriage for the purpose of obtaining residency or marriage without telling the other partner they have an inability to have children may be considered fraud.
What's the Difference Between Annulment and Divorce?
An annulment is a court procedure that will void or "nullify" a marriage. It treats the marriage as if it never existed. Divorce, on the other hand, legally dissolves a marriage when one or both parties no longer wish to be married.
Most of the time, annulments are carried out after a very short marriage, making the distribution of assets relatively simple since there usually aren't many shared properties or children for which to determine custody. When it comes to divorce, especially after a long marriage, property division, custody, and support matters can be much more complex.
How Long Do I Have to File for an Annulment?
There is a statute of limitation for annulments in the state of California. Think of this as a deadline, after which point you are no longer able to file. If you pass this time limit, then you will still be able to file for separation or divorce. The statute for limitations on annulment in California depends on the reason behind the annulment.
- Person under the Age of 18 at the Time of Marriage – Then they must file within four years after their 18th birthday. A parent or guardian also has the authority to file for an annulment on their child's behalf before their 18th birthday.
- Previously Existing Marriage – The limit is extended as long as the previous marriage is still intact.
- Unsound Mind – The limit is any time before death.
- Fraud, Force, or Physical Incapacity – The limit is four years from the date they discovered the fraud, use of force, or physical incapacity.
Do I Need an Attorney for an Annulment?
Whenever you are dealing with a complex legal issue, like an annulment, it is advisable to hire an attorney you can trust. There are common misconceptions about annulments, who qualifies for an annulment, and how annulments work; so it is important that you work with an experienced annulment attorney who can advise and guide you.
When you hire a legal representative for your annulment, you will have reliable counsel throughout the legal process. Your attorney can help prove that there are grounds for an annulment according to state laws. Perhaps most importantly, your attorney will also be able to ensure that your annulment is filed correctly. Filing for an annulment through the court can be extremely complex and if you file incorrectly, it could damage your chances of obtaining the outcome you desire.
Consult a Firm with 50+ Years of Shared Experience
If you are considering filing for an annulment, consult a Corona annulment attorney from our firm, as annulments are not easy to obtain. We would be happy to review your case to determine if you qualify for an annulment under state law. Our goal is to help our clients achieve their objectives, so if you do not qualify we can discuss your other options, such as filing for divorce or legal separation.