Is Infidelity Grounds for Annulment in Florida?
Infidelity on its own probably wouldn’t be grounds for an annulment in Florida. Someone in a legal marriage wanting out of a union due to a cheating spouse would probably have to exit through a traditional divorce.
The Florida court system lays out several situations that might allow a spouse to void a marriage, but infidelity isn’t one of them. Annulments can erase a marriage like it never happened, but usually, only if the original marriage wasn’t legal for some reason.
Robert Sparks Annulment Attorneys of Tampa stands beside our clients when they need to overturn a marriage. We want freedom for our clients, but we also fight to make sure they emerge from annulment with enough in assets to rebuild their lives. Contact our offices to schedule a legal consultation on your best options for escaping a marriage.
Legal Grounds for Florida Annulment
Annulment is the legal process of declaring a marriage invalid. If it’s allowed, an annulment erases a marriage. In the eyes of the government, the couple was never married.
When one spouse or a couple seeks an annulment in Florida, they’ll need to prove that a marriage wasn’t legal in the first place. The infidelity of one partner usually wouldn’t affect the legal status of a marriage.
A person who finds out a spouse is already married would have grounds to seek an annulment, but that goes beyond infidelity. While infidelity can destroy trust and end marriages, it doesn’t nullify the legal bond recognized by the state.
The Florida Court System has agreed that these are the most common reasons to grant annulment:
- Bigamy. A spouse is discovered to have more than one legal spouse.
- Underaged. An underaged person cannot legally get married. A 17-year-old would need permission from parents to enter into a legal marriage. A Florida resident who is 18 years old or older could consent to marriage.
- Incestuous marriage. The couple is closely related by blood or marriage.
- Permanent mental incapacitation. An intellectually disabled person could not legally consent to be married.
- Spouse could not give legal consent. If the spouse was suffering from a mental illness or was intoxicated.
- Spouse is impotent. When a man cannot maintain an erection in order to have sex and a spouse was not informed of this before the marriage.
- Spousal fraud. The spouse entered a marriage by deceiving a partner.
- Spouse under duress. 6. The marriage is voidable because one or both spouses only entered into the marriage because they were under duress. This can be defined as extreme coercion, or possibly even force. It will have to be proven to a court that the duress was current at the time of marriage, not a regret later.
- Marriage as a Joke. A spouse entered marriage as a joke.
Partners seeking annulment should know that the consummation of a marriage can affect their chances of earning annulment. Consummation of marriage is the first sexual act of a husband and wife. When spouses are made aware of fraud or some other illegality before consummation but still consummate the marriage, a judge may use that as grounds to deny annulment.
Florida statutes don’t cover the specifics of the annulment process, and that means judges have a lot of leeway in how they rule. With this uncertainty, it’s even more important to have a Tampa divorce lawyer on your side while seeking an annulment. You want your evidence for having a marriage thrown out clearly and thoroughly presented.
Infidelity in a Florida Divorce
Someone wanting to be free of marital bonds due to infidelity would likely have to rely on a traditional divorce. Tampa residents should know that infidelity probably won’t play much of a role in the divorce, at least in our state.
Florida is a no-fault divorce state. It means that couples don’t need to have a reason to get divorced. Generally, one partner or another isn’t blamed, no matter what actually played out leading up to a separation.
Infidelity wouldn’t usually have a determining factor on who kept what assets in the divorce. It’s possible that a judge would look at proof of infidelity when deciding who will receive custody of any children. If a partner’s lifestyle or associations might create an improper environment for a child, the spouse who was cheated on may get more favor in a custody battle.
When you are going through a divorce, it’s always important to have a legal representative handling divorce negotiations to make sure your side of the story is considered fairly. If your divorce is decided in a trial, the judge must hear all relevant information so they don’t make a mistake when ruling on the terms of the divorce.
Contact a Tampa Annulment Lawyer
At Robert Sparks Attorneys, we are protective of our clients and we get aggressive to secure what’s fair for them. We stand beside our clients through the most emotional and difficult annulment battles to make sure they find a way out of an unlawful marriage.
If you are considering an annulment in the Tampa area, please give our Tampa divorce lawyers a chance to safeguard your interests. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation on your case and find out your best option for getting free of marriage and keeping the assets you’ve worked so hard for.