Getting an annulment is not complicated as long as you meet the annulment qualifications in California. To begin with, an annulment only occurs when a court determines that a marriage is not legally valid. In this case, you may want to consider filing an annulment if you want to contest the validity of your marriage instead of filing a a divorce. Read on to learn more about the annulment qualifications in California.

“I found A People’s Choice on the internet and called them about getting an annulment. I had only been married for just short of 3 months and unfortunately it was not working out very well.” Sophia T.
“I had no idea that simply being married for a short amount of time did not allow me to file an annulment. I ended up having to file a divorce, but am very grateful for the help I received from A People’s Choice.” Sophia T.

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Annulment Qualifications in California

An annulment invalidates a marriage. After an annulment is granted, a marriage is considered to have never occurred because it was never legal.

Annulment qualifications in California are outlined in California law. More specifically, California law defines the requirements for annulment which are based on the following legal theories:

  • Incestuous marriage. California law allows a spouse to get an annulment if he/she is a close blood relative of his/her spouse. 
  • Bigamous marriage.  If a spouse or domestic partner is already married or in a registered domestic partnership with another person, California law allows him/her to get an annulment.
  • Not of legal age to marry. A person must be at least 18-years-old to marry in California. If a person is underage, California law allows him/her to get an annulment.
  • Unsound mind. If either party is found to have not understood the “nature” of marriage, California law allows him/her to annul their marriage.
  • Fraud. If a couple wed as a result of fraud, either spouse could seek an annulment.
  • Force. A person can get an annulment if he/she was forced to wed another as a result of force.
  • Physical incapacity. If a spouse is physically incapable of “consummating” the marital relationship, either spouse can seek an annulment.

Difference Between Annulment vs. Divorce

The key difference between an annulment and divorce is that in a divorce, the court recognizes the marital union as being valid. In an annulment, the court invalidates the marriage. Furthermore, to get a court order for an annulment, a spouse will have to prove by testimony in front of a judge, that one of the specific annulment qualifications in California occurred. In other words, personal, in-court testimony must be provided, and it is up to the judge to decide if the annulment qualifications have been met. In contrast, a spouse could file for divorce for irreconcilable differences.

As part of the annulment qualifications in California, there is a deadline within which an annulment Petition must be filed, a point often overlooked. The statute of limitation to file for an annulment in California depends on the grounds in which it is based. For example, a person can file for an annulment within four years after reaching 18-years of age. If a marriage was based on fraud, the defrauded party must file for an annulment within four years of discovering the fraud. Most actions for annulments must be filed within four years from the date of getting married or registering as a domestic partnership. You should check the statute for your specific circumstances.

At A People’s Choice, we have helped many people review and understand the annulment qualifications in California. In fact, we have prepared legal documents for people for over 35 years! In addition, our office can prepare all the required paperwork to get an annulment. If someone married at an early age, was of unsound mind or their spouse defrauded them, they may be able to annul their marriage. We can help prepare and file the documents needed to do so. Call us today at 800-747-2780 or contact us through our website to find out how. If you are looking to file an annulment, you do not have to hire an attorney to annul your marriage. 

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