Annulments: A Common Misconception

Florida does not have a statute regarding annulments. This means that all of the law in this state regarding annulments is case law which was created by the court system. While the word annulment might be a flashy word used in pop culture media when a brief marriage comes to an end, it is not a reality for most in Florida.

There are strict criteria for obtaining an annulment in Florida. Typically, it must be shown that a marriage was void or is voidable. The burden to make this showing is on the person seeking the annulment. One way to show a marriage is void would be to prove bigamy. Typically, in order for a marriage to be voidable, or to possibly be invalid, one of the following must be proven: (1) lack of legal capacity to marry, (2) lack of mental capacity, (3) lack of consent to the marriage, (4) consent to the marriage was obtained by force, duress, fraud, or concealment, or (5) a lack of physical capacity to consummate. Again, the burden is on the party seeking the annulment to make this showing.

As you can see, annulment is not only limited to a select few types of situations, but the process also puts a heavy burden on the person seeking the annulment. The common way to obtain a divorce is by a dissolution of marriage. Sine Florida’s only requirement for a dissolution of marriage is a showing that the marriage is irretrievably broken, this is much easier to obtain. Not only is this the most common way, but it is also the most efficient, and possibly the more cost effective method. Using a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney to help you through your dissolution of marriage proceedings will make the process as simple as possible.