Florida Marriage Annulment Laws

By Contributing Writer
legal requirements, annulment
courthouse image by Randy McKown from Fotolia.com

Florida does not have any statutory provisions for annulment (the term is more often used as a religious procedure), but it does provide for dissolution. Occasionally, under special circumstances, the Florida courts may grant an annulment. Unlike a dissolution, which ends the marriage, an annulment decrees that the marriage was never valid in the first place.

Inability to Consummate

Consummation is an integral part of marriage, according to Florida law. As such, a marriage where consummation is not possible can sometimes be annulled. Impotency can be grounds for annulment, but not sterility.

Age

If one of the contracting parties in the marriage is a minor, parents may petition to have the marriage annulled on the grounds that the minor is not yet old enough to enter into a legal contract. Individuals under 18 but older than 16 may obtain a marriage license with parental consent.

Lack of Intent

If one or both of the parties entered into the marriage unaware of the legality of the ceremony - if, for example, the parties thought the ceremony was a joke - the marriage may be annulled.

Fraud

Occasionally one party will enter into a marriage because of being misled by another party whose intent it is to commit fraud against the unwitting partner. In cases of fraud, the court may annul the marriage but only if the marriage has not been consummated.

Duress

In cases of physical or emotional duress, parties are sometimes forced into entering and maintaining a marriage. If the courts decide that one party was prevented from acting independently, they may annul the marriage.

Mental Incompetence

In order to enter into a legal contract, the parties involved must be mentally competent enough to make reasonable decisions. An annulment based on mental incompetence isn't likely to be granted unless one party is judged mentally incompetent by a mental health professional.