Fort Lauderdale Annulment Attorney

Having a marriage annulled in the state of Florida isn’t something that happens very often. Because Florida is a no-fault divorce state, a divorce can be granted for any reason. There are some instances where, if it can be shown that a marriage was a sham or never valid in the first place, the court may grant an annulment. The situations where an annulment may be granted specifically are cases that involve:

  • Shotgun wedding – Being forced into a marriage or marriage under duress, such as a so-called shotgun wedding or under the threat of violence.
  • Bigamy – where one spouse is already legally married to another person and no divorce has been granted.
  • Incest – Marriage between blood relatives is considered void.
  • Non-Consensual Marriage – Where one spouse is under the legal age of consent. Often a situation involving a mail-order bride can also be shown to be non-consensual and fraudulent in nature.

Annulments are only granted to the person who is innocent in a situation such as those listed above. In such a case, the innocent party may be eligible for reimbursement for attorney’s fees and other related costs even though in the eyes of the law, the marriage was invalid and never existed. This can be a far more beneficial arrangement than a traditional divorce.

Fraudulent Marriage

Not everyone chooses to get married for the right reasons. An annulment may also be granted in cases of fraudulent marriage or “fraud in the inducement”.

As mentioned above under the circumstances for annulment, these types of marriages are most commonly undertaken in order that a spouse who is from a foreign country for the purpose of gaining entry into the United States by marrying a U.S. Citizen. The State of Florida frowns on sham marriages, and if it can be proven, the United States government will prosecute the sham marriage as a federal crime.

These circumstances exist if:

  • A citizen of the United States is paid or asked to perform a favor in the form of marrying a foreign national or if there has been a visa lottery with the intention of promoting a fraudulent marriage.
  • A foreign national knowingly defrauds a citizen of the United States who believes that the marriage they entered into is legitimate or vice versa.

The penalty for marriage fraud is not only having the marriage annulled, but it can also include being sentenced up to five years in prison and paying a fine up to $250,000.

Contact a Lauderdale Annulment Attorney

Though annulments are not usually granted in the state of Florida, the staff at the Law Offices of S.G. Morrow & Associates is dedicated to family law and helping our clients understand when annulment may be possible.

We have more than two decades of experience in family law cases in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida. Contact us today at 754-300-5900 in the Miami-Dade area, or you can reach us toll-free at 888-757-0901 to set up a consultation to find out how we may help you.