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3699 Wilshire Blvd. Ste 700, Los Angeles, CA 90010 Mon-Fri 9am-6pm +1-213-387-4508

Does Your Marriage Qualify for an Annulment in California?

Navigating the complexities of marriage laws in California, especially when considering an annulment, requires a deep understanding of legal criteria and personal circumstances. With his extensive background in family law and financial matters, Charles Green offers guidance to those pondering if their marriage qualifies for an annulment in the Golden State.


annulment agreement papers




What is an Annulment?

An annulment is a legal procedure that nullifies a marriage, treating it as if it never legally occurred. Unlike divorce, which ends a legally valid marriage, an annulment declares a marriage invalid from its inception. This fundamental legal action requires thoroughly examining the marriage’s validity based on specific, recognized grounds under California law.



Grounds for an Annulment of Marriage in California

California law delineates clear grounds under which an annulment can be granted. Understanding these grounds is the first step in determining whether your marriage is eligible for an annulment.


Underage Marriage

If either party was under the age of 18 at the time of marriage without parental consent and a court order, the marriage is considered voidable and may qualify for an annulment.


 Duress or Fraud

Marriages entered into under duress, coercion, or significant fraud (misrepresentation about the desire for children, financial status, or other foundational aspects of the marriage) can be annulled. These circumstances undermine the voluntariness of the marital agreement, a cornerstone of its legality.


Incest or Bigamy

In California, marriages between close relatives or where one spouse is already married to another person are not legally recognized and are grounds for an automatic annulment.


Mental Incapacity

If one or both parties were of unsound mind or incapable of understanding the nature of the marriage contract due to mental conditions, the marriage is voidable.


Inability or Refusal to Have Sexual Intercourse

Marriages can be annulled if one party is physically unable to consummate the marriage or refuses to do so, and this incapacity or refusal was not known before the marriage.


Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

If one or both parties were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of marriage, impairing their ability to consent fully, the marriage may be annulled.



Void or Voidable Marriage to Get an Annulment

Understanding the difference between a void and a voidable marriage is critical in the annulment process.

Void Marriage

A void marriage is legally invalid from the start. In California, incestuous and bigamous marriages fall under this category. These marriages are considered as never having existed legally.


Voidable Marriage

A voidable marriage appears legal and remains so until one party seeks an annulment. Grounds such as underage marriage, duress, fraud, mental incapacity, inability or refusal to consummate, and the influence of substances make a marriage voidable.


In Los Angeles County, where family dynamics and legal intricacies intersect, Charles Green’s expertise in family law and financial acumen provide a beacon of guidance for those considering the annulment route. His understanding of the delicate balance between legal requirements and personal circumstances ensures that clients receive top-tier legal representation and a compassionate approach to their unique situation.

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Charles M. Green is Certified as a California Family Law Specialist through the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. He has worked extensively in both financial accounting fields and as a litigation attorney specializing in Family Law Cases. He is also diversely experienced in a number of other legal practice areas of importance to individuals, families, and businesses.

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