There are two main avenues for terminating a marriage: annulment or dissolution. When you find that your marriage is irreparably damaged or is not valid, there are alternatives to divorce and other steps you can take to end the relationship.
At the Law Offices of Theodore H. Enfield, P.A., you can trust that our Miami annulment lawyers will protect your interests and rights during this significant time. Contact us today.
Annulment vs. Divorce
Many people mistakenly view annulments and divorce as similar legal acts. Although both serve to end marriages, they perform their roles in distinct ways. For example, in order to annul a marriage, it has to be illegitimate in the first place. This means that the marriage was conducted and/or agreed to under conditions that make it illegitimate. An annulment cancels, and/or voids the marriage. If successful, the marriage is completely removed from public records.
Meanwhile, divorces serve to end legitimate marriages. Spouses are legally declared single. However, the divorce often becomes public information (since the marriage is recognizable and legitimate).
Theodore H. Enfield is a divorce and annulment lawyer in Miami with more than 35 years of experience in advising couples with issues such as annulment, divorce and child custody. Contact our office to discuss your concerns during a free telephone consultation.
What Is An Annulment?
The idea of annulling (or voiding) your marriage is based on the premise that the marriage was never valid in the first place. Occasionally referred to as nullified marriages, court-granted grounds for annulment are usually based on at least one of the following factors:
- Lack of consent
- Mental illness or insanity
- Influence of drugs or alcohol
- Domestic violence
If you believe that you have reasonable evidence to obtain an annulment in Florida, you should contact an experienced annulment lawyer. Because marriages are viewed as legal (even sacred) unions between two people, family courts like to see comprehensive proof and support before dissolving a marriage.
The annulment process in the state of Florida typically requires individuals to file a petition with the appropriate court. If the other spouse agrees, the annulment process can often go smoothly. If the spouse does not agree, he/she has the legal right to file and present a counterclaim. No matter what side of the annulment process you may be on, it is imperative that you contact an experienced annulment lawyer in Florida to assist you with the overall process.
An annulment attorney can help you:
- File proper paperwork in a timely manner
- Locate expert testimony and witnesses for proof/support during court
- Negotiate on your behalf
Since annulments essentially negate marriages, the same privileges that come with marriages are not always available and accessible. For example, alimony and/or spousal support is often not an option. The annulment process works to restore each spouse’s original state, so the assets and property developed during the time of the marriage are often not disbursed evenly between the couples. If there is evidence of domestic violence and/or children involved, however, an experienced divorce family and divorce lawyer may be able to reverse such outcome.
Can I Get An Annulment?
Courts will require evidence supporting one or more of these factors when considering a request to annul a marriage. In order for our annulment attorney to present compelling arguments on your behalf, it is essential that you are prepared to share factual details during consultations.
For those seeking marital dissolution for religious reasons, your church may have procedures in place beyond the legal processes. Persons of faith should consult with their clergy prior to moving forward with court-granted annulment, separation or divorce.