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San Jose Family & Divorce Lawyers / San Jose Annulment Lawyer

San Jose Annulment Lawyer

If you are in a marriage or domestic partnership and wish to end it, you have a few legal options. The most common one is divorce, but annulling the marriage might make more sense for you. This is a legal process through which your marriage or domestic partnership is declared void, meaning it never happened in the eyes of the law.

An annulment isn’t right for every relationship. In fact, it can be difficult to qualify for an annulment since you must prove to a judge that you were never legally married, which is not a common situation. But for some parties, it’s the right option. Our San Jose annulment lawyers can walk you through getting your marriage annulled under California law, so contact us to get started.

Reasons for Annulments

Marriages can be hard to deal with. Even in the best of times, issues can come about. But sometimes marriages are based on fraud from the very beginning. They are null and void. In these cases, you don’t have to divorce. You may qualify for an annulment.

Here are some common reasons for seeking an annulment:

  • Fraud or misrepresentation. If one spouse misrepresented themselves or concealed important information (such as already being married), it can be grounds for annulment.
  • Lack of consent. If one or both parties were not of legal age to marry or entered into the marriage under duress, coercion, or without full mental capacity, the marriage can be annulled.
  • If one spouse is already married to someone else at the time of the marriage, the subsequent marriage is considered void.
  • If the spouses are closely related by blood, the marriage can be annulled.
  • If one spouse is physically incapable of consummating the marriage and this fact was not known to the other party at the time of marriage, it can be grounds for annulment.
  • Non-consummation. If the marriage was never consummated due to the willful refusal of one spouse, it can be grounds for annulment.
  • Mental incapacity. If one or both parties were mentally incapacitated or unable to understand the nature of the marriage contract at the time of the wedding, the marriage may be annulled.
  • Force or coercion. If one spouse was forced or coerced into the marriage against their will, it can be annulled.
  • Concealment of a serious issue. If one spouse concealed a serious issue such as addiction, criminal history, or a sexually transmitted disease, which would have impacted the decision to marry, it can be grounds for annulment.

Divorce vs. Annulment

Divorce is the legal termination of a valid marriage. It usually involves dividing property, determining child custody and support, and other issues. Grounds for divorce typically include irreconcilable differences, adultery, abandonment, or cruelty, depending on the jurisdiction. Divorce allows both parties to remarry legally.

Annulment is a legal declaration that a marriage was never valid in the first place. It essentially erases the marriage as if it never happened, declaring it null and void. Annulment is typically granted for marriages that were void or voidable from the beginning. This includes the reasons listed above. Unlike divorce, annulment does not involve issues such as property division or spousal support, although child custody and support will need to be addressed if children are involved. Once a marriage is annulled, both parties are legally considered to have never been married to each other.

How Is Annulment Different from Divorce?

A divorce legally ends your marriage, while an annulment states that it was never valid in the first place. It declares it null and void as if it never happened. Getting a divorce is much more common than getting a marriage annulled, mainly because the latter option is more difficult.

To get an annulment in California, you must display proof of unique circumstances showing that your marriage was invalid. For example, you must be able to show that you entered into a marriage or domestic partnership based on a lie or a lack of information. A San Jose annulment lawyer from our law firm can help you prove this in court if you think it’s right for you.

What Are the Grounds for Annulment?

If you want your marriage or domestic partnership annulled, you must choose a grounds for annulment and prove it in a Santa Clara County court. Some examples of reasons to file for an annulment include:

  • Bigamy, in which one spouse was already married to someone else
  • An incestuous marriage, in which the spouses are related by blood
  • One or both spouses were not of legal age to enter into a marriage
  • At least one person was of unsound mind during the wedding due to drugs, alcohol, or a mental disability
  • One spouse used force to get the other spouse to marry them
  • One party has a physical incapacity that prevents them from consummating the marriage
  • One party committed fraud by keeping a significant secret, such as a criminal record, major medical issues, or children

If you discover information that would have caused you to cancel the wedding if you had known about it, you may be able to get your marriage or domestic partnership annulled. Whether your reason for annulment includes a bigamous marriage, mental incapacity, fraud, or other issues, an experienced attorney can help prove your case in California courts.

What Is the Annulment Process Like?

You should talk to a Santa Clara County family law attorney to seek an annulment since there may be a statute of limitations, depending on your reason for this legal action. For example, it’s four years if your reason involves age, force, or fraud on the part of your spouse. But if you need an annulment due to bigamy, you can file this request anytime.

To achieve nullity of marriage in San Jose, you must file the correct forms in court. When you do, the burden of proof is on you to show that this was never a valid marriage, so expect to state the reason and show proof. A caring lawyer will help you from beginning to end, so contact us for a free consultation.

How Can a San Jose Annulment Lawyer Help You?

Sometimes ending a relationship through a divorce doesn’t seem like the right move. If you want to show the world that it was an invalid or void marriage that never should have occurred, an experienced annulment lawyer can help.

At Argyris Mah, LLP, we have years of experience guiding clients toward the outcome they want as they make major changes to their households. If you want to learn more about how we can help with the nullity of the marriage process, contact us at 408-214-6366 for an initial consultation.