Annulment Lawyer in San Francisco
If you are in the process of seeking an annulment in San Francisco or Marin County, look no further than Warren Major LLP. We have over 17 years of combined experience with annulments and would be more than happy to help you through this difficult time. Contact us today to get started on your road to freedom.
A civil annulment is a legal proceeding that declares a marriage or domestic partnership null and void.
A civil annulment in California is granted by petitioning a California Family Court, as opposed to a religious annulment, which would be granted by a church or clergy member. An annulment may be maintained upon an allegation that the marriage is “void” (California Family Code $$2200-2201), “voidable” (California Family Code $$ 2210), or invalid for failing to comply with statutory formalities (California Family Code $ 297(b).)
Understanding “Void” vs “Voidable” Marriage When Seeking An Annulment
A void marriage is simply an invalid marriage that, from a legal standpoint, never existed. This can be asserted or shown in any court proceeding where the fact of the marriage would be material.
Although this marriage was never legally binding, you should still get a formal judgment of nullity that is then entered into the public record. This determination conclusively establishes the parties’ support and marital rights.
A marriage is void under the following circumstances:
A marriage is void from the beginning if between:
- Parents and children,
- Ancestors and descendants of every degree,
- Siblings (of half or whole blood), or
- Between uncles or aunts and nieces and nephews
If either you or your spouse was married at the time of your marriage, then the second marriage is considered void.
A subsequent marriage is only voidable if, under Family Code $ 2201(a)(2), the former spouse is alive at the time of the subsequent marriage and:
- is absent, and not known to the person to be living for five successive years immediately preceding the subsequent marriage, or
- is generally reputed or believed by the person to be dead at the time the subsequent marriage was contracted.
- This exception only applies to the deserted spouse (the one that was abandoned). The deserting spouse does not qualify for this protection, and his/her subsequent marriage is void.
Marriage not lawfully Contracted:
A marriage that does not follow the requirements set by Family Code $ 300(a) and 306 is automatically void and invalid. For example, if a couple fails to get a marriage license, their union would be considered null and void.
A “voidable” marriage is valid until it gets annulled by a court. In other words, the marriage is still technically considered valid until a judge says otherwise. A marriage can become voidable on the following grounds:
- Minority: A marriage is only valid if both parties were over 18 when they got married. If one of the parties was under 18, but later freely cohabitates with the other party as his or her spouse after turning 18, then the marriage becomes valid.
- Unsound Mind: If either party was unable to understand the subject matter of the marriage contract and obligations, then the marriage is voidable. However, if they continue living with their spouse after coming to reason, then the marriage becomes valid.
- Fraud: A marriage obtained through fraud is voidable, but if the party who was deceived continues to live with their spouse after they realize the deceit, then the marriage is valid.
- Force: If either party was forced to consent to the marriage unless the coerced party continues living with the other person as his or her spouse. (Family Code $ 2210(e).)
- Physical Incapacity: If either party is unable to have sexual relations and the incapacity appears to be incurable, then the marriage can be annulled.
Bringing a Nullity Petition
In California, a party can commence a nullity action by filing an FL-100. (See Family Code $ 2250.) More information on filing for an annulment can be found on the California Court’s website. It is important to note that the moving party (the person seeking to annul the marriage) has the burden of proof. The process can be complex, which is why it is often helpful to have a qualified San Francisco annulment lawyer assisting you throughout.
Divorce vs Annulment – What’s The Difference?
A divorce legally ends a valid marriage. An annulment, however, treats the marriage as if it never happened.
Speak to a San Francisco Annulment Attorney Today!
You likely have many questions if you are considering an annulment. Our team is here to help – we will listen to your story and answer any questions you may have. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through the entire process, from start to finish. Plus, our office serves clients throughout San Francisco and Marin County.
Warren Major LLP