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Annulments: making your marriage disappear

When people are struggling in their marriage or have decided to end the relationship, they can often find themselves thinking, "I wish I had never gotten married." While we can't go back in time and stop someone from tying the knot, it can be possible to treat the marriage as if it never existed, if only in the eyes of the law.

Marriages can be annulled in Florida, which means they can essentially be undone. A divorce will dissolve a marriage, but it will still recognize the fact that you were married. An annulment, by contrast, will dissolve the marriage by stating that it never existed. If a marriage were considered a typo, an annulment would be the eraser. However, there are specific circumstances under which an annulment can be granted in Florida.

In accordance with Florida state annulment laws, the following factors must be present in order for an annulment to be granted.

  • Marriage was between blood relatives
  • Bigamy, or being married to more than one person
  • Lack of consent by one or both parties
  • Lack of consent due to serious impairment by alcohol and/or drugs
  • One or both people were underage and no parental consent was given
  • Fraud

In these situations, the state may annul a marriage because it was either non-consensual or it was illegal.

If these elements are present in your marriage, you may seek an annulment. This can come as a great relief to you if you are trying to avoid divorce for religious reasons, because you may be ashamed or because you want to avoid the stigma of divorce.

If these elements are not present, you will need to pursue other routes to end your marriage, including divorce and/or legal separation. There are benefits, drawbacks and restrictions for each of these options, so before you decide on which course of action you wish to take, it would be wise to first consult an attorney.

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