Monday, June 24, 2013

When Does Florida Grant Annulments?


No Annulment Statutes in Florida 


Kim Kardashian finally was able to close the books on her marriage to a basketball player after a legal battle that lasted about 19 months. She was married for less than three months.




Why did it take Kardashian so long to finalize a divorce on such a short marriage?

Kardashian and basketball star Kris Humphries actually had a prenuptial agreement, which usually paves the road for a quicker divorce agreement. But Humphries wanted an annulment, claiming that Kardashian married him only for the publicity for her reality TV show.

Annulment Erases A Marriage

An annulment would have erased the marriage from the books, which legally would make it appear as though the marriage never happened.

In the end, the couple ended up getting a divorce.

What many people learn about annulment from watching TV is that a short marriage can be annulled. Annulment, however, is more complicated than that. Certain criteria must be met, making it more difficult to obtain than a no-fault divorce in some cases.

Each state has variations on their own annulment laws but people most often have to prove their spouses committed some sort of fraud.

Florida Annulment Law 

In Florida, there is no specific statute relating to annulment so Florida judges typically look at past cases in deciding whether to grant an annulment. Florida makes a distinction between "void" marriages and "voidable" marriages. A void marriage is one that legally should never have taken place. A voidable marriage is one that legally did exist.

Though annulments are somewhat rare, common grounds for annulment in Florida include:

  • Either spouse already has another wife or husband that the new spouse did not about beforehand.
  • Either spouse is “physically and incurably” impotent, information that the other spouse did not know beforehand. 
  • One spouse is under the age of 18 and did not have the consent of her parents to marry. 
  • A marriage between close relatives, such as between brothers and sisters (including half-siblings), uncles and nieces/aunts and nephes and first cousins.
  • If someone was somehow forced into marriage, such as being physically threatened.If a spouse is mentally ill, insane or retarded to the point of being unable to knowingly and understandingly consent to the marriage. 
  • One spouse fraudulently misrepresented himself or herself before a marriage. New Jersey courts, however, have found that these fraudulent misrepresentations relate to an essential part of the marital relationship and that the spouse seeking an anulment have relied on the misrepresentation. 

Photo credit: SalFalko

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