In California a marriage can be annulled in eight specific circumstances. Annulments are warranted in situations where the marriage was invalid at the outset, or may be declared invalid if facts come to light that render the marriage agreement invalid. Once annulled, the courts and the state will treat the marriage as if it never happened. The eight grounds for a marriage annulment are:
- Marriage to Another (Bigamy). If one of the parties to the marriage is already legally married to someone else, or is registered as part of a domestic partnership with someone else, then the new marriage can never be valid.
- Prior Existing Marriage or Partnership. If one of the parties to the marriage is already legally married to someone else, or is registered as part of a domestic partnership with someone else, but that other person has been missing for more than five years and is presumed to be dead, a new marriage could be declared invalid if no divorce or separation has legally been obtained in the earlier marriage or domestic partnership.
- An Incestuous Marriage. Marriage between two people who are too closely related can never be legally valid. Under California law, marriages between the following closely related family members are never valid:
- Parents and children
- Grandparents and grandchildren
- Ancestor-descendent couplings of any degree (i.e., great-grandparents and great grandchildren)
- Siblings and half-siblings
- Aunts or uncles to nieces or nephews
- Underaged Party to the Marriage. Persons under the age of 18 are not legally old enough to commit to a marriage or domestic partnership, and thus a marriage involving a person who is under 18 can be deemed invalid.
- One Party is of Unsound Mind. If one party to the marriage is considered to be unable to understand the consequences of entering into a marriage or domestic partnership at the time of the marriage, the marriage or domestic partnership can be deemed invalid. Parties to the marriage or domestic partnership must be mentally capable of understanding what they are getting into.
- Marriage Through Force. A marriage or domestic partnership that is the result of force, or entered into under the threat of force, can be declared invalid.
- Marriage Through Fraud. When a marriage or domestic partnership is the result of some fraud committed by one of the parties, the marriage can be declared invalid if the fraud is something critical to why the other party entered into the marriage or domestic partnership.
- Inability to Consummate the Marriage. If one of the parties is physically unable to consummate the marriage, and the inability persists and seems to be incurable, the marriage can be deemed invalid.
Contact A Ventura Divorce Lawyer
If you are concerned that your marriage is invalid and are interested in learning more about annulments, divorce, and the differences between the two, the family law attorneys at Negley Law are ready and available to answer your questions and to help you through the process. Our team of professionals has worked with numerous Ventura County residents to obtain annulments. Please contact the experienced annulment attorneys at Negley Law. Initial consultations are free of charge, so reach out to us today by calling (805) 464-7315.