In California, an annulment—also called “nullity of domestic partnership” or “nullity of marriage”—occurs when a court decides that your marriage either is "null and void" or is "voidable." A null and void marriage is one that can never be legally recognized as a marriage in the state of California, such as a marriage involving a spouse who is already legally married at the time of the union. A voidable marriage is one declared void by court decree. Annulments have to be granted by a judge. Once a marriage is annulled it means, legally, that the marriage never existed.
There are several specific situations in which an annulment may be granted by California courts:
Although it is not easy to obtain an annulment in California, the family law attorneys of Shaffer & Associates have successfully had marriages annulled and can determine whether an annulment is the proper legal action to take in your situation.
Annulments based on fraud—that is, entering into a marriage deceitfully—in particular, may be granted for a range of reasons. One example of fraud is when a party knows he or she is sterile or infertile prior to the marriage, but conceals that information from the other party until after the ceremony. Denying sexual relations or an unwillingness to have children, if previously promised, are also forms of fraud. In addition, discovering one's spouse's past criminal record or fugitive status could lead to annulment of a marriage. An annulment based on fraud may also be obtained if a marriage was entered into deceitfully in order for someone from another country to secure a U.S. green card.
If you are unsure whether or not seeking an annulment is right for you, our San Diego attorneys can help. We serve San Diego County and the surrounding communities, including Orange County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County. Contact Shaffer & Associates online or call (619) 595-3167 today.