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Divorce is typically how people end their marriages, but occasionally, a party seeks to end the marriage through an annulment. Basketball player Kris Humphries reportedly sought an annulmentof his marriage to reality television star Kim Kardashian, alleging the marriage, which was filmed for the reality show, was a fraud. However, Ms Kardashian denied the allegations and it appears the marriage was eventually dissolved through divorce.

When a court annuls a marriage, it is as if the marriage never happened, whereas divorce ends an otherwise valid marriage. There are no statutory rules for annulment in Florida. However, a court may grant an annulment if you can show that the marriage is void or voidable.

Void marriages

A void marriage was invalid from the outset. Examples of this include instances in which:

  • A party was a minor.
  • A party was already married.
  • The parties are close relatives.

Although technically a void marriage never existed, you may need to petition the court for an annulment so that you have the legal paperwork to prove it. The court may allow parents to petition on behalf of a minor child.

Voidable marriages

A voidable marriage is valid but defective in some way, so that one of the parties can challenge it. Examples include:

  • Lack of proper intent: For example, a party was induced to marry by fraud, misrepresentation or concealment, was intoxicated, or under physical or emotional duress.
  • A party is unable to consummate the marriage: A party is unable to have sexual intercourse. If you had consensual sexual intercourse with your spouse after you became aware of the defect to your marriage, you may no longer be able to seek an annulment.  

It is generally more difficult to obtain an annulment than a divorce. Even if you have valid grounds for an annulment, it may not be granted if you have been married and have conducted yourselves as a married couple for a long time.

If you want your marriage annulled, contact an experienced Daytona divorce lawyer for advice on the best way to proceed.