What is an Annulment?

What is an Annulment?

There are many differences between an annulment and a divorce or legal separation in California. An annulment is equivalent to an invalid marriage, in other words it is as if the marriage never existed. As a result, community property rights and responsibilities no longer apply. In California, people can divorce at any time after marriage. Annulments differ as the party will need to establish a statutory reason for the annulment.

Reasons for Annulment

  • For annulments based on age (marrying before the age of 18), a person has 4 years after they turn 18 years old to petition the Court for annulment.
  • For unsound mind, an annulment can be filed by the party claiming the spouse is of unsound mind or a relative of the party with unsound mind at any point before either party dies.
  • Fraud cases can only be annulled by the spouse or domestic partner who was deceived and only for 4 years after discovering the fraud.
  • For physical incapacity, a party claiming their spouse or domestic partner is incapacitated must file for annulment within 4 years of getting married.

There are strict requirements for annulments, so it is always a good decision to research the time requirements prior to filing your petition.

Before filing for an annulment, you should consult with an attorney to ensure you fall within the time periods that qualify for an annulment. You can speak to a Family Law attorney at Castellanos & Associates, APLC at (323) 212-5599. Our consultations are free and confidential.