“Annulment” may mean different things to different people. Strictly speaking, an annulment may be granted under conditions where the marriage never occurred. The legal meaning refers to several types of circumstances that mean the marriage was never valid.
“Annulment” may also have religious meanings to members of the Catholic church. Once someone has been granted a divorce by the court, they may decide to apply for an annulment through the Catholic church. The conditions for this type of annulment are different from those for a legal annulment.
In Florida, the legal grounds for annulment may include:
- A lack of consent because one or both persons were under the influence
- An underage spouse failed to get parental consent for the marriage
- A partner’s mental incapacity meant they may not have been able to consent to the marriage
- A spouse used fraud or lies to get the consent of the other spouse to marry
Isn’t “annulment” just a different word for divorce?
Because the end result of an annulment is the same as a divorce, some people may think the two terms can be used to mean the same thing. A divorce legally ends what was a valid marriage. An annulment, on the other hand, says that the marriage never took place.
A Florida judge may decide that the marriage never occurred because one or more of the grounds for annulment existed. That is, once the spouses’ families know that the spouses have married, they may raise objections to the marriage. These objections may be true, which means that the marriage may be annulled legally.
How can a marriage never occur?
While this may not seem possible, one of the reasons that a marriage never took place existed when the couple “got married.” Lack of consent, an underage spouse or the use of lies to gain consent for the marriage all mean the marriage never took place.