Florida is one of the few states that has no annulment statute. Annulments in Florida are based on the common law – which means that such cases are decided by the court analyzing prior cases.
Whether or not you may be eligible to have your marriage annulled depends on your CAPACITY to marry and your CONSENT to marry.
The issues raised in an annulment based on “capacity to marry” include:
- Nonage (under 18)
- Consanguinity (family relationship)
- Bigamy (already married)
- Physical Incapacity (impotence)
The issues raised in an annulment based on “consent to marry” include:
- Lack of mental capacity (e.g. intoxication)
- Duress (threat of violence)
- Sham (marriage solely for immigration purposes)
Perhaps the most common defense to an annulment is “ratification.” In short, ratification means that you become aware that your marriage could be annulled and you chose to stay in the marriage. For example, suppose a husband and wife were married and that the Wife required that the Husband be of a certain religious faith. Later, she learns that he is not of that specific faith. At that point she may be able to have her marriage annulled due to the Husband’s fraud. However, if she stays in the marriage, she could later be found to have ratified the marriage which would likely eliminate the possibility of an annulment.
Annulments are not common. Also, annulments can become very complex if you are forced to prove your grounds for an annulment because the other party will not verify your allegations.
Please feel free to call the office if you would like to speak with an annulment lawyer in Jacksonville, FL.