The Difference Between Divorce and Annulment in California
When a court issues you an order of dissolution (divorce) or annulment of marriage, you become legally single. Therefore, you gain the right to enter a new legally valid marriage. The difference is that, in a divorce, you are considered to have been legally married before the divorce judgment. An annulment means that the court declares that your marriage was never legally valid. The court still decides on division of property, parenting time, and child support. If a couple with children gets an annulment, the court usually requests a DNA paternity test before recognizing the man as the children’s father and awarding him parenting time. Annulment always requires a court hearing, but divorce only sometimes does.
Do You Qualify for an Annulment?
It is important to understand who can file for an annulment. Do you have the facts on your side to get an annulment? California law recognizes the following circumstances as valid reasons for an annulment:
- The marriage license or marriage certificate is valid or was never filed.
- One spouse was coerced into the marriage.
- One party was still legally married to someone else when the parties got married.
- One party was below the legal age of consent when the marriage began.
- One spouse was of unsound mind when he or she entered the marriage.
- Your spouse entered the marriage through fraud or deception.
- The parties are close blood relatives.
Statutory deadlines are important when seeking an annulment. For some of these situations, the deadline for filing for annulment is four years from the date of the marriage. In other cases, it is four years from the time you found out the truth about your spouse. In the case of bigamy, you can annul the marriage as long as your spouse is still alive.
A Legal Document Assistant can Help You Annul Your Marriage
Choosing a legal document assistant to prepare your annulment paperwork is less expensive than working with a lawyer. Contact A People’s Choice about court documents related to marriage annulment or divorce. Call us today at 800-747-2780.
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