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Sacramento Annulments Lawyer

A divorce allows couples to legally dissolve their marriage. An annulment, on the other hand, is a formal declaration that the marriage or domestic partnership was invalid. Annulments treat the official relationship as though it never happened. While relatively rare, this process gives qualifying couples an alternative to divorce. If you are trying to decide between moving forward with a divorce or annulment and what the possible positive and negatives of each one are, contact a Sacramento, CA annulment attorney for answers and advice on how to proceed moving forward.

Why the Court May Grant a Civil Annulment

While there is no predetermined length of marriage limiting when an individual can file for an annulment, some statutes limit when you can file based on the reason. The court may declare a marriage or domestic partnership invalid if:

  • The relationship is incestuous. No blood relatives can be legally married. The state always considers marriages involving incest invalid.
  • One or both individuals were bigamous. Someone cannot enter into a marriage if he or she is already married to someone else. The state always considers marriages involving bigamy invalid.
  • The partners did not consummate the marriage. The court will not recognize a marriage if one individual is physically incapable of sexual relationships. An individual must file for an annulment based on physical incapacity within four years of marriage.
  • One individual was underage. A spouse who was under 18 at the time of marriage may be eligible for an annulment. The statute of limitations on underage marriages is four years from the time an individual turns 18.
  • There was prior (not bigamous) marriage. If a spouse or partner was absent from the marriage for five years or more, thought to be dead, and comes back into the picture, the first marriage stands. Anyone from the prior or current marriage can file for an annulment in this case.
  • An individual was married because of force or fraud. You cannot deceive your spouse or coerce him or her into marriage. In cases of fraud, an individual has four years after discovering the fraud to file for an annulment. In cases involving force, the statute of limitations is four years from the time of marriage.

The state will not take a spouse at his or her word and grant an annulment. An individual needs proof the invalidating reason took place. Most individuals should seek guidance from an experienced annulment attorney in Sacramento, CA to build a case that will prove grounds for an annulment.

Civil vs. Religious Annulments

A civil annulment only voids a marriage under the law; it does not grant a religious annulment. A religious authority must recognize and approve of such an annulment, but a civil annulment can help a spiritual authority understand the reason for your request. Many of the reasons for getting a civil annulment align with religious annulments, but you may need to seek dutiful counseling to determine what you need to do to obtain an annulment through your church.

Annulments and Individual Rights

After an annulment, an individual does not have the same rights as divorcees. An annulment completely voids the marriage contract and both parties’ rights and responsibilities. Individuals who obtain an annulment do not have the same rights to property division or spousal support, except in limited circumstances.

If a couple had children before the annulment, paternity may need to be established by the parent in order to work out child custody, child support, and visitation. Voiding the marriage technically voids the assumption that a child is the legal offspring of both parents.

Finding a Sacramento, CA Annulment Attorney

Whether you pursue an annulment or a divorce, you need an experienced Sacramento family lawyer by your side. At Boyd Law, our annulment lawyers in Sacramento, CA understand the complex nature of annulments. We specialize in providing the answers you need to move forward with a successful marriage dissolution or nullification process. For more information, contact our Sacramento office today for a free case evaluation.