In a divorce, the two parties legally separate but are still viewed as having been married at some point in time. During an annulment, a marriage is “voided” meaning that legally, it never existed. In a divorce, a party may receive benefits (such as alimony) from the other party. In an annulment, no benefits can be claimed.
The State of Florida would prefer that marriages end in divorce, rather than annulment. The laws regarding annulments are very narrow, and they can only be done under very specific circumstances. In light of this, Florida is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that no fault needs to be proven in order to get a divorce – spouses can be divorced for any reason.
To get an annulment, it must be proven that the marriage itself was not valid in the first place. There are situations which must be proven, including:
Only the person who is innocent in the situation can seek and may be granted the annulment. It is possible for the innocent party to receive attorneys’ fees and other reimbursement for costs even though the couple was never legally married.
Another permissible ground for annulment is known as “fraud in the inducement,” where one party uses deceit/trickery to persuade the other party into marriage. In order to prevail, the fraud must go to the heart of the marriage. A common example of fraud in the inducement occurs when one of the spouses is a foreign national, and it is later discovered that their only purpose in marrying the citizen spouse was not love but to obtain a green card (also known as a “sham marriage”).
At the Law Offices of S.G. Morrow & Associates in Aventura, Florida, we are dedicated to helping clients understand if an annulment may be possible or appropriate for their specific situation. Our thorough understanding of Florida laws governing divorce, immigration, and other family law issues is vast, allowing us to act as aggressive and informed advocates for our clients and their cases.
We can help you come to the best decision regarding your marriage, whether it be annulment or divorce. Annulments are possible, though rare. If you need an annulment lawyer in Lauderdale or anywhere else in South Florida, call us at 754-300-5900 or toll free at 888-757-0901.