Annulment in California – Orange County
Annulment in California invalidates a marriage as if you were never married before. An Orange County Family Law attorney has written the guidance below based on the most frequently asked questions and issues most frequently discussed in the Orange County Superior Court.
How to get an Annulment in California?
In order to get an Annulment in California, you need to show that your marriage is void or voidable. The difference between void and voidable marriage is the void is invalid at the beginning, but voidable is valid initially and maybe invalidated if one petitioned for it.
There is no requirement for the duration of the marriage to qualify for an annulment. However, there are requirements regarding the time period during which the spouse petitioning an annulment must start the process. This period of time is called the “status of limitation”. The status of limitation is different for each ground for annulment.
Status of limitation for some Grounds for Annulment in California
The court will order annulment in California on the ground of physical incapacity if one of the spouses appears to be incurable. The status of limitation based on this ground is four years. The injured party must file for annulment within four years after the marriage.
Another ground for annulment in California is unsound mind. For this ground there is no status of limitation. The spouse, or conservator or relative should file at any time before the death of either party.
The court automatically grants an annulment if the marriage is bigamous (one or both spouses were already married to someone else).
A marriage involving incest, such as marriage between close blood relatives is subject to annulment as well.
Fraud and force are also the basis for annulment.
Lastly, marriages between one or both people under the of age 18. This ground has a four-year statute of limitations. If the underage spouse turned 18 and did not file for annulment within 4 years, it will not be granted.
Documents preparation for Annulment in California
Documents for annulment in California are similar to the documents for divorce and legal separation. It starts with summons, petition, local form and Declaration Under Uniform Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act ( if there are minor children from this marriage).
The ground for annulment will be stated on the declaration for annulment. The petitioner needs to explain very clearly the reason for annulment.
After filling the forms the petitioner need to file them with the court and serve his/her spouse.
Your spouse has thirty days to response. There are some different ways to proceed with Annulment. It depends whether your spouse response or not response.
In any way the petitioner need to go to set up a hearing. The spouse who petitioned for annulment in California must prove the ground, as he or she bears the burden of proof.
The source of California Law regarding Annulment is California Family Code section 2210
The important distinction regarding the process of annulment in California is that no Statutory Residency necessary.
For a judgment of annulment in California, unlike a judgment of divorce, there is no statutory residency requirement.
When you are going through Annulment in California, you can request the court to make some child support orders. However, you have to establish paternity for the children from this relationship.
Although some States (for example, Nevada) allows both couple sign and submit Decree to the judge without hearing, Annulment in California require hearing. The petitioner must formally testify, explaining the court what the legal ground for the annulment is.
It is not easy to get an approval of the ground for annulment in California. Once it approved, you gen get your judgment right after hearings.
Another important point is that often a client comes to my office hoping that it would be easier to get an annulment because he/she was marriage just couple weeks. Granting an annulment in California is irrelevant to how long you have been married. The judge would not consider two weeks marriage as a legal ground for annulment in California. Here are the grounds for annulment in California:
Bigamous: there is another marriage that exists between one of the spouses and another person. A marriage is VOID
Incestuous: marriage between father-daughter, sister- brother, father-son and other close blood relatives. A marriage is VOID
Unsound mind: one of the spouses was of “unsound mind” . That means unable to understand the nature of the marriage
Age at the time of marriage
Prior existing marriage