When a person wishes to end their marriage in California, they can file for divorce. But in certain circumstances, another option may be available. An annulment is granted in specific situations when the marriage was not valid by law to begin with. A knowledgeable divorce lawyer can help you file for an annulment with the court. At the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler, our firm has the experience you need to assist with an annulment proceeding. To learn more about whether you qualify for a California annulment, talk to our office today.
What is Annulment?
Unlike a divorce, which legally terminates a marriage, an annulment is a court decree that legally the marriage never existed. As such, there are substantial differences in the process. For example, the court is not allowed to award spousal support or divide property between the former spouses. The couple must find a way to separate their property between them and do not have to abide by the state’s community property laws.
If children are involved in the relationship, either adopted or born by the couple, a former spouse must request that paternity be established after an annulment is granted. There are several presumptions of paternity when it comes to an annulment case, and often paternity is confirmed either through the signing of a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity or by a simple genetic test. Once confirmed, child support and custody can be determined by the couple.
California Grounds for Annulment
In a divorce, a spouse does not need to list a reason, or grounds, to terminate a marriage. However, California only grants an annulment if certain grounds are claimed in the annulment petition. Allowable grounds for an annulment include the following:
- Underage spouse,
- Unsound mind at the time of the marriage, either by insanity or severe intoxication, and
The spouse who requests the annulment has the burden of proving the grounds alleged at an annulment hearing. Each specific ground also has additional requirements, including burdens of proof, statute of limitations requirements, and more. An experienced lawyer is in the best position possible to ensure that your annulment petition is filed properly with the court.
How to Get an Annulment
The California court has a detailed and complicated process for filing an annulment, which is why you should always secure the services of an experienced lawyer to help with the case. Once the proper paperwork is filed and grounds are alleged for the annulment, a hearing is set in the case. The spouse requesting the annulment must prove the grounds alleged, which can include submission of evidence or witness testimony. The judge will hear the evidence and determine whether or not an annulment should be granted in the case.
Call or Contact Our Office Now
If you are interested in speaking with a skilled California attorney about whether a divorce or annulment is right for you in the Beverly Hills area, call the office or contact us today at the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler to schedule a consultation of your case.