Orange County Annulments Attorney
California law allows for a very specific form of legal separation known as an annulment, which has the potential to only impact a select few married couples throughout the state each year. Annulment takes the place of an high net worth divorce and legally provides the same end result. If you are considering an annulment, contact an annulment attorney in Orange County today to determine whether your circumstances qualify for an annulment.
Annulments in California
California offers married couples several options (in limited circumstances) when they wish to dissolve a marriage: divorce, annulment, and legal separation. These options will not apply to every married couple, but do allow couples the ability to consider options other than divorce.
California refers to annulment as “nullity of marriage” and is an option to essentially declare a marriage void or voidable. Annulment is typically not an option that a couple can choose in lieu of divorce unless one of several factors exist in the marriage:
- The marriage is voidable due to force, fraud, physical incapacity, or mental incapacity
- The marriage is voidable because one spouse was too young to enter into marriage or domestic partnership
- The marriage will be declared void because one of the spouses was already married
- The marriage is void because the spouses are related by blood
Depending on the reason for the annulment, a claim for annulment must be filed within a specified period of time to be considered by the California courts. The standard limitations period is within four years of marriage for annulments due to force, fraud, physical incapacity, or under the age of 18. If the annulment is filed on grounds of bigamy, the claim may be filed at any time when the spouse from the first marriage is still alive. If you are filing a claim based on the “unsound mind” of the other spouse, you can file at any time before you or your spouse dies.
Annulment has a different effect than divorce because it basically says that the marriage never existed. Whereas with divorce, a marriage did exist and was terminated. Additionally, upon annulment there are no agreements which are common to divorce. Instead, a couple must separate and divide their own property and neither spouse may receive spousal support or survivorship interests (such as retirement benefits) after the annulment. It is therefore important to consider the benefits and detriments of both annulment and divorce in order to make an informed decision.
Free Initial Consultation With Orange County Annulment Lawyer
If you are in the process of seeking an annulment, do not hesitate to contact the Orange County annulment attorneys of Boyd Law. Annulment is often more difficult to bring to court than divorce due to the restrictions on the type of cases and the limitations on the length of time. However, the Orange County based family and divorce law attorneys of Boyd Law are experienced in handling all types of marriage termination cases, including annulment, and will work closely with you to determine whether your annulment claim has merit. Contact us by giving us a call today or stop by our Orange County office for your initial free consultation.