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

Religious Annulments vs Legal Annulments?

Religious Annulments

A religious annulment is granted by a religious institution, such as a church. It declares a marriage void under religious law. However, a religious annulment does not change the legal status of a marriage. This means that even if a religious institution grants an annulment, the couple will continue to be recognized by the law as married unless they also obtain a civil annulment.


Legal Annulments

A legal annulment, on the other hand, is granted by a court and alters the legal status of a marriage. It declares a marriage void or voidable under state law. A legal annulment treats the marriage as if it never legally occurred. This means that, unlike divorce, which ends a legally valid marriage, an annulment declares a marriage invalid from its inception.

In California, there are specific grounds under which an annulment can be granted. These include underage marriage, duress or fraud, incest or bigamy, mental incapacity, inability or refusal to have sexual intercourse, and influence of alcohol or drugs.


Circumstances for Religious But Not Legal Annulment

Marriage Meets Legal Requirements: If a marriage fulfills all legal requirements under state law—such as consent, age, and absence of bigamy—it is considered valid legally. However, the couple might receive a religious annulment if it fails to meet specific religious criteria. For example, if a marriage lacked a religious ceremony required by the couple’s faith, the church might not recognize it as valid, even though it’s legally binding.

No Grounds for Legal Annulment: Couples may find themselves in a situation where their marriage does not qualify for annulment under California state law because it does not meet any of the legal criteria for annulment. However, they might still qualify for a religious annulment based on their faith’s distinct grounds, which do not overlap with legal criteria.

Desire to Remarry in the Same Faith: Individuals who wish to remarry within their faith may seek a religious annulment to comply with their religious institution’s requirements, even when their marriage is considered valid by the state and no legal annulment is pursued or necessary


Los Angeles County Annulment Practices

In Los Angeles County, the process for obtaining an annulment is similar to that in the rest of California. If you believe that your marriage qualifies for an annulment, it is advisable to consult with a qualified attorney⁵⁶. The process can get difficult, especially if your spouse contests the petition, so it is important to have the assistance of qualified legal counsel.


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Annulment Attorney Charles M. Green

  When navigating the intricate landscape of religious versus legal annulments in California, having an experienced guide can make all the difference. Charles Green, a distinguished Family Law attorney and Certified Family Law Specialist, brings over 26 years of expertise to the table, ensuring that his clients understand the nuances between religious and legal annulments.

  With a unique background in audit and tax, Charles offers a comprehensive approach that not only addresses the legalities of your situation but also considers the financial implications of your marital status. Whether you’re facing the complexities of a religious annulment, seeking a legal dissolution of your marriage, or simply need clarity on the path that best aligns with your personal and religious beliefs, Charles Green is committed to providing expert guidance and compassionate support.

Trust in Charles Green to navigate the intricacies of your annulment with the precision, respect, and expertise your situation demands.

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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