Long Beach Annulment Attorney
Annulment as an Alternative to Divorce
Did you consider dissolving your union, but you were hoping not to face what you’re sure would be a traumatic and lengthy divorce process? If it’s on your mind, you need to contact a professional Long Beach annulment attorney to find out whether you can apply for an annulment. Obtaining an annulment of your marriage means that your marriage never took place under the law. This alternative is much faster than a legal divorce. However, not all married couples are entitled to an annulment. To apply for an annulment, the marriage must meet a number of conditions.
What is an Annulment?
According to the California Family Code, an annulment is a civil procedure in which the partners ask the court to declare their union null and void. When an annulment is finalized, it will be as if the civil marriage never existed.
The moment the marriage is annulled, the former partners cease to be:
- Prohibited from entering into a marriage with someone else
- Governed by matrimonial property laws, or
- Able to reap the fruits of married life (e.g. salary, health care).
An annulment can be a difficult undertaking. Contact an experienced family court lawyer in Long Beach to get the legal information you need to get your marriage annulled.
What are the Requirements of an Annulment?
Annulment is not a path that all married couples can take. In fact, a marriage can only be annulled in a very limited number of circumstances. For an annulment to be granted, your marriage must be marked as voidable or absolutely null and void.
Marriages that Can be Classified as Void
Some marriage proposals have already been declared null and void from day one. The reality is that such marriages should never have taken place.
- Incestuous unions– Marriage between other family members is prohibited by law. It is called incest. In the State of California, family unions that cannot be legally married are:
- Parents and children,
- Sisters and brothers (including half-sisters and half-brothers) and
- Aunts and Uncles, Nephews and Nieces
However, the law on this topic in the state of California specifies that such partnerships are invalid for partners who are related by some degree of heritage and descent. In other words, if you and your partner are related by blood in any way, your marriage is already considered invalid from the beginning.
- Bigamy marriages-In the Golden State, marriage to more than one person is unconstitutional. If, on the day of the marriage, you or your current partner are already legally married to someone else, your marriage is still invalid. There are a few exceptions in the law. For example, if your spouse (or your partner’s spouse before you) was still in the land of the living, your marriage will not be considered invalid, because it was assumed that he or she died for some reason. You should be able to go to court with documents proving the other marriage to get an annulment.
- Invalid Documents-To legally marry in the State of California, the bride and groom are required by law to complete certain documents necessary to obtain a marriage license. Failure to strictly follow state procedures can be considered a void marriage, even after years.
Some Marriages are Voidable
There are several other marriages that meet the criteria to be declared void due to particular, extenuating circumstances but not strictly void from the very beginning.
- Through Duress or Force-If threat or force accomplishes a marriage to a person, a spouse may ask that such a union be voided. The partner who applies for the annulment must be willing to provide proof of the abuse.
- Through Fraud-If a marriage has been created under false pretense, the partner may apply for the annulment of that marriage. However, if, even after discovering that the marriage is definitely false, you continue to reside with your spouse in the same capacity as you are actually married, the marriage will no longer be valid.
- The Sexual Dysfunction Clause-Spouses are free to enjoy the consummation of their union. If one of the spouses has a permanent physical disability that prevents them from having sexual relations, the judge can legally annul the marriage.
- The Mental Incapacity Clause-If you or your partner are able to give proof that they are psychologically incapacitated and lack the ability to fully recognize the purposes and duties of marriage, then a judge will be entitled to annul you.
- Marriage to an Underaged Person-In the State of California, partners must be at least 18 years old or have received legal permission to marry. A marriage can be annulled if the partner files a declaration of annulment in court before his or her 18th birthday. But being with the partner after his or her 18th birthday will make the marriage permanent and not voidable.
How Can I Be Granted an Annulment in Long Beach?
When you want the Long Beach court to grant you an annulment, you must first be able to prove, with all the tangible evidence you can provide, that your marriage is invalid or voidable. Because you have decided that your marriage is liable for an annulment, you must file an annulment application with the court.
Does a Residency Requirement Exist for Annulment?
Unlike putting a petition to dissolve by divorce, there are no clear requirements for you to make your petition for nullity in the county where you live. There is currently no provision for citizenship to file a petition for nullity at all. You just have to live in California to sue in a California court wherever you want.
Putting in Your Petition for Nullity of a Marriage
In addition, the documents to be completed to petition for annulment are the same as those that people would submit if they were filing for divorce or separation: the FL-100 form. When filling out this form, you must provide the following information:
- Appropriate names for you and your partner
- When and where the wedding took place
- The children who will be affected by the case and
- The reasons for filing the annulment.
You would also need to do a summons (FL-110) and complete a declaration (MC-030) in addition to filling in Form FL-100. For these other two forms, you would need to include all the relevant facts, proof and evidence to support your annulment application. And make sure that your argument correctly presents all relevant legal information. It is a good idea to use a lawyer who specializes in family law to support you. Refusing to file a motion, a summons, and to make an accurate and complete statement could prevent you from getting your annulment.
Serving the Filing on Your Spouse
You’ll need to file in the family court copies of your complaint, summons and declaration. You would still need to serve them to your partner until you’ve achieved that. The partner must also obtain a blank copy of Form FL-120 (for them to respond) as well as any relevant child custody records, among the papers they are expected to get. You are not allowed to serve directly to your partner. Instead, your spouse can obtain the documents from a friend, family member, process server or law enforcement officer. Unless your partner accepts, you’ll always have the option of faxing the documents to him or her.
Bringing Back Your Proof of Service
The court will not be able to reconsider your application for annulment until you provide proof that your partner has been properly served with copies of all the correct documents. The person who served the documents will complete and sign Form FL-115 (proof of service) and be able to express the specifics of the service performed.
The Court Hearing: The Final Phase of Annulment
When the court gets back service notice, you’ll be able to set a date for your annulment hearing. You (and your future ex-spouse) will have to present your case to the judge during the trial. The partner requesting the annulment bears the burden of proof. You must be able to justify to the judge, in clear terms that your marriage really needs to be annulled. Your partner has the right to present some of his or her statements or facts to contradict what you say. After all, if the judge decides that the marriage is void or invalid, he or she must sign the annulment.