Annulling a Marriage: The Basics
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Annulment has often been a widely-misunderstood legal concept. Civil annulments
(that is, annulments granted by the state) are similar to divorces in
that they affect a marital status. The most significant difference is
that while divorce will end an existing, valid marriage, an annulment
announces a valid marriage never actually existed between the parties involved.
California judges can issue an annulment only on certain grounds:
It is up to the person asking for the annulment to prove to the judge that
one of the above reasons exists in order for the judge to grant the annulment.
If you plan to petition for an annulment, you should know that California
has a statute of limitations on when annulments can be filed.
The deadline for the statute of limitations depends on the grounds for
Children born into an annulled marriage will need to be addressed. Parents
will have to ask the judge to establish paternity and then child support,
visitation, and permanent custody can be decided. This is not difficult
to obtain since California presumes the former husband is the biological
father of the children.
Since California does not recognize the marriage, property must be divided
by the couple themselves. Neither party can receive spousal support or
An annulment is not to be taken lightly as it has serious ramifications
on your finances and family. If you are considering an annulment or have
been served with annulment papers, call an Orange County divorce lawyer from
The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague to protect yourself!
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