San Bernardino Annulment Attorney
Annulment as Opposed to Divorce
Have you been considering filing for divorce, but were hoping not to deal with what you are certain will be a painful and time-consuming procedure? If you have been, then you need to get in touch with a seasoned San Bernardino annulment attorney to find out if you may be eligible to obtain an annulment. Getting your union annulled basically signifies that your marriage never happened from the perspective of the law. This option is a whole lot faster than a regular divorce. All that said, annulment is not available to all married couples. In order to qualify for an annulment, your marriage has to meet a few requirements.
What is an Annulment?
According to the California family code, annulment is a legal action in which spouses submit a petition to the court to have their marriage declared null and void. As an annulment draws to a close, it will be as if the marriage and legal union never happened at all.
Once the union is annulled, the ex-spouses will cease to be:
- Forbidden from being wedded to another person
- Governed under matrimonial property laws, or
- Allowed to enjoy the perks connected to being married (e.g., tax, healthcare).
The act of procuring an annulment can be complex. Contact an experienced San Bernardino family law attorney for assistance understanding the legal details that are necessary to get your marriage annulled.
What is Necessary for an Annulment?
Annulment is not a choice that is available to every married couple. In truth, a marriage can only be annulled under an extremely limited number of circumstances. So that you would be allowed to have an annulment, your marriage has to be classified as voidable or categorically void.
Marriages that are Considered Void
Some marriage unions exist that are considered to have been void and invalid from day one. The fact is that such marriages should never have been permitted to happen in the first place.
- Marriage of Incest -By law, certain family members are forbidden from getting married to each other in the state of California. The family relations that cannot legally be wedded are
- parents and children,
- siblings (including half-siblings) and
- aunts or uncles and nieces and nephews.
Moreover, the law of the state of California on this issue dictates that marriages are void for spouses who are connected by every degree of ancestry and descent. To put it in plain English, if you and your spouse are connected by blood relation in any way, then your marriage is classified as being void from the start.
- Bigamous Marriages – In California state, to have more than one spouse is against the law . If you or your present spouse was already legally wedded to someone else on your wedding day, then your marriage is already void by law. There are a number of exceptions to this rule. Your marriage would not be categorized as void if your spouse (or your partner’s original spouse) is still living, but for some reason was believed to be dead. For the purpose of securing your annulment, you need to be able to show up with documents to prove the other marriage.
- Invalid Documentation – To be wedded in the state of California, the engaged couple is legally obligated to fill out some necessary paperwork to be issued a marriage license. Neglecting to properly adhere to state procedures can, even after years, be discovered to be a marriage that is void.
Marriages that are Voidable
Some other marriages exist which, while not particularly void from the very start, meet the criteria to be declared to be void due to certain extenuating circumstances.
- Duress or Force – If a marriage to someone is accomplished by threat or force, a spouse could ask that such a union is voided. The spouse asking for the annulment has to be able to furnish evidence of the coercion.
- Fraud – In the event that a union is created by way of fraudulent pretenses, a spouse may file a petition to have such a marriage annulled. Moreover, if, even after finding out that the marriage is truly fraudulent, you go on living with your spouse like you are truly married, then the marriage would not be voidable.
- Sexual Dysfunction – Spouses are afforded the right to enjoy the consummation of their marriage. If one spouse suffers from some type of irreversible physical disability by which they cannot have sex, then that union can be voided by a judge.
- Mental Incapacity – If you or your spouse can assert that they have a mental incapacity, and lack the capability to comprehend the reasons and obligations of being married, then a court would be able to void your union.
- Underage Marriage – In the state of California, spouses need to be a minimum of 18 years old or have been given legal consent to marry. A nuptial union can be voided if a spouse, ahead of their 18th birthday, lodges a filing for nullity with the court. Nevertheless, continuing to stay with your spouse after you pass the age of 18 can make your union permanent and not voidable.
How Can I Obtain an Annulment in San Bernardino?
If you wish to obtain an annulment in San Bernardino, you first need to be capable of proving, with whatever physical evidence you have, that your marriage is void or voidable. From the moment that you have established that your marriage qualifies for an annulment, you need to lodge a petition for nullity with the court.
Does a Residency Requirement Exist for Annulment?
Unlike filing a petition to dissolve by divorce, there are no stringent requirements that you make your petition for nullity in the county where you reside. In fact, there is not at all a residency requirement for filing a petition for nullity. You just have to reside anywhere within the state of California to file in a California court.
Filing Your Petition for Nullity of a Marriage
The application you will use to file to request your annulment is actually the same form that individuals would file when they need to apply for a divorce or separation: Form FL-100. When you have completed this form, you will need to give the following information:
- Your and your spouse’s full names
- The date and of your marriage and where it took place
- Any children who would be impacted by the legal proceeding, and
- Your grounds for requesting the annulment.
In addition to filling out Form FL-100, you will also need to complete a summons (FL-110) and also declaration (MC-030). On these two other forms, you will need to provide information, evidence, and proof to bolster your application for the annulment. In order to make sure that your declaration rightly addresses all the relevant legal details, it is a wise choice to enlist a seasoned family law attorney to help you. Neglecting to complete the petition, summons, and declaration properly could stop you from getting your annulment.
Serving the Documents On Your Spouse
You will need to file copies of your petition, summons, and declaration with the family court. After you have done that, you need to also serve your spouse. Among the papers that they receive, your spouse is also supposed to get a blank copy of Form FL-120 (for them to respond) as well as any relevant child custody documents.
You are not permitted to serve your spouse yourself. Alternatively, a friend, family member, process server or law enforcement officer can present the documents to your spouse on your behalf. Provided that your spouse agrees, you also have the choice of getting the documents to them by mail.
Return The Proof of Service
The court will not be able to review your petition for annulment until you bring them back the proof that your spouse has been served with their copy of all the obligatory paperwork. The one who served the documents is supposed to fill in and sign Form FL-115 (the proof of service document) and be capable of articulating how service was carried out.
Court Hearing: The Final Stage
Once the court gets notice of service back, you will be ready to set a date for your annulment hearing. At your hearing, you (and your soon-to-be erstwhile spouse) need to put your argument before the judge. The spouse who is petitioning for the annulment holds the burden of proof. In plain English, you need to be able to demonstrate to a judge that your marriage really needs to be annulled. Your spouse has their right to bring up any of their own arguments or evidence to rebut your claims. At the end, if the judge agrees that your marriage is indeed void or voidable, then he or she will authorize the annulment.