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    How to Get Marriage Annulment in California
    Posted: 2012-08-21 05:00:56


    Sadly, not all marriages end up in ‘happily-ever-after’. Sometimes, it is necessary to make tough decisions and call it quits. Nullifying a marriage is one way of doing it.

    Annulment of a marriage means that a marriage has never been legal and never happened. UnderCalifornialaw, annulment of marriage can happen in 8 circumstances:

    • When the married partners are related to each other by blood. In this case, the marriage is never legally valid.

    • When one of the partners is already married to another person. As above, such marriages are never valid.

    • A marriage can be declared invalid if one of the partners was under 18 years old at the time of the marriage.

    • If one of the parties was already married and if his/her spouse had been absent for 5 years prior to the second marriage.

    • If a spouse is declared to have ‘unsound mind’, a marriage may be nullified. This is so assuming that this spouse could not understand the nature of marriage when it happened.

    • If the marriage happened by fraud, it can be nullified. For example, if one spouse marries another just to be able to receive a residency status inCaliforniawithout disclosing this fact, the marriage can be nullified.

    • If the consent for marriage happened as a result of force, the court can declare nullity.

    • If one of the partners is unable to consummate the marriage and the inability can’t be cured, the marriage can be voided.


    If one of the spouses wants annulment, he/she has to prove that one of the above circumstances applies. This burden, however, can be quite difficult, especially since the decision of annulment does not depend on how long the marriage had lasted. For example, how can one easily prove that the marriage has never been consummated?

    In addition, annulment proceedings are limited by statute of limitations. This means that there is a deadline for filing annulment proceedings and it does not make getting annulment very easy. For example, if a spouse wants to void a marriage that happened when he/she was less than 18 years old, he/she would need to do so within 4 years after reaching 18 years of age. Or if the marriage happened as a result of force, a spouse can start annulment proceedings no later than 4 years after the marriage occurred.

    To file for an annulment, you would need to fill out several forms, file them with a court clerk, serve them on your spouse and let him/her know that annulment proceeding has been started, and finally set up a court hearing where a judge can make a decision about granting an annulment.

    For a detailed guide on how to file for annulment, visit the California Courts website.

    Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal advice.