California Annulment Requirements
In California an annulment is a process of obtaining an order that the marriage never existed, and restores the parties to single status. The grounds for annulment are more complicated than for a dissolution proceeding and are stated in the California Family Code. The grounds are:
- Incestuous Marriage
- Bigamous Marriage
- Petitioner’s age when married
- Prior existing marriage or domestic partnership
- Unsound Mind
- Physical incapacity
Statute of Limitations to File for Annulment
Most people are aware that there are certain statutes of limitations when filing a lawsuit. When filing a divorce or a legal separation, there is no statute of limitation. What surprises most people is learning that annulments do have a deadline or statute of limitation. If the deadline runs out, a person is unable to file for an annulment and would have to file a regular dissolution proceeding.
The period of time within which an individual can file for an annulment varies based on the statutory basis or reason the annulment is being filed. There are several reasons a person can seek an annulment in California, and each has it’s own statute of limitation.
How to Annul a Marriage in California – The Annulment Process
In the annulment process, the court can provide for orders regarding child support and property. It is important to remember that if the parties have children, you must request the court establish paternity for any children you have had together with your spouse.
Unlike in a dissolution or legal separation proceeding, formal testimony is required and there must be a court hearing. At this hearing, the Petitioner will need to explain to the court their reasons and legal basis for seeking an annulment of their marriage. A hearing can take place no earlier than 31 days following the date of service of the Summons and Petition on the other party. At the hearing, if the court approves the grounds for the annulment, a judgment of nullity will be immediately granted, restoring the parties to single status and allows them to immediately remarry after the hearing. There is no six month waiting period.