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Ryan Family Law

Ryan Family Law

Helping People In San Diego Obtain a Marriage Annulment

An annulment is a relatively uncommon family law issue that not every attorney can handle. To qualify for an annulment, the couple must meet specific requirements and present their case to a California family court judge. Ryan Family Law helps couples throughout San Diego County annul their marriages and move forward with their lives.

illustration of ANNULMENT title on legal document - Ryan Family Law - Annulment attorneys in San Diego

The fastest way for you to determine if you qualify for an marriage annulment is to contact Ryan Family Law and speak with our founding attorney, Paul J. Ryan, Esq.. We have three San Diego office locations as well as an office in Contra Costa County that serves couples in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can schedule your free phone consultation now by calling us at 858-222-6600 or 925-542-2543.

Annulments vs. Divorce: Understanding the Key Differences

At some point in life, relationships can end in different ways. Sometimes, couples who have married may choose to dissolve their marital union by either getting a divorce or a marriage annulment. While both options are legally recognized ways to end a marriage, they have significant differences that can affect the outcomes of the process. In this article, we will discuss the key differences between annulment and divorce to help you make an informed decision.

What is an Annulment?

An marriage annulment is a legal process that declares a marriage void or invalid from the beginning. In other words, it is as if the marriage never existed. To obtain an annulment, you must prove that your marriage is either void or voidable under state law. The grounds for a marriage annulment vary depending on the state, but common reasons include:

  • One or both parties were underage at the time of the marriage
  • One or both parties were already married to someone else
  • The marriage was a result of fraud or duress
  • One or both parties lacked the mental capacity to consent to the marriage
  • The marriage was not consummated

If the court grants a marriage annulment, both parties will be restored to their legal status as if they were never married. This means that property division, spousal support, and child custody may not be the same as in a divorce.

What is a Divorce?

A divorce, also known as a dissolution of marriage, is a legal process that terminates a valid marriage. To obtain a divorce, you do not need to prove fault or grounds for the divorce. Instead, you must demonstrate that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, meaning that there is no chance of reconciliation. In a divorce, the court will address issues such as property division, spousal support, and child custody. More about divorce…

Key Differences Between Annulment and Divorce

While both annulment and divorce are legal ways to end a marriage, they have significant differences. The key differences include:

  • Legality: An annulment is a declaration that the marriage was never legal, while a divorce is the termination of a legal marriage.
  • Grounds: To obtain an annulment, you must prove that the marriage is either void or voidable, while a divorce does not require proof of fault or grounds.
  • Timeframe: An annulment can be granted only within a specific period after the marriage, depending on the state, while there is no time limit for a divorce.
  • Property division: In an annulment, the court may not divide property or debt the same way as in a divorce. Instead, each party may keep the property they brought into the marriage, and any property acquired during the marriage may be divided based on each party’s contribution.
  • Spousal support: In an annulment, spousal support may not be awarded unless the court determines that one party was financially dependent on the other party. In a divorce, spousal support may be awarded based on the needs and ability of each party to pay.
  • Child custody: In an annulment, child custody may be awarded based on the best interests of the child. In a divorce, child custody is also based on the best interests of the child, but the court may consider the parents’ relationship with the child, among other factors.

Who Can Get One?

While annulments are similar to divorce filings, the main difference is that in legal terms it will be as if your marriage never existed. Because an annulment eliminates a marriage, there are strict requirements for who can get an annulment. Generally, these restrictions are related to information that if a person knew beforehand, they would not have married.

There are many reasons why a California family court judge may grant an annulment, including:

  • Both individuals are closely blood-related
  • A spouse was already married to another person before getting married again
  • Either party was under the age of 18 at the time of marriage
  • The marriage was the result of fraud
  • A spouse is not mentally fit or was not of sound mind at the time of marriage
  • One spouse forced another into marriage
  • One spouse has a physical incapacity, commonly male impotence, that prevents physical relations

We will review the circumstances of your marriage and determine if an annulment is possible. If you do not qualify for an annulment, our family law attorney will go over your separation options.

Start The Annulment Process In A Free Consultation

Waiting to start the separation process will not help your case. You can talk to the founder of Ryan Family Law — family law attorney Paul J. Ryan, Esq. — in a FREE phone consultation by calling us at 858-222-6600 or 925-542-2543. If you are not able to phone us ringt now, please use our quick and easy Contact Form.

I’ve been working with Paul Ryan on a difficult case for over a year and he has been a God-send. He is smart, personable, very down to earth and a fighter. I had two terrible experiences previously with different SD firms, and hiring Paul has been a welcome breath of fresh air. I would highly recommend Paul, especially for active duty military and veterans.

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