For a lot of people, the word “annulment” makes them think
about the 55-hour marriage between Britney Spears and her childhood friend,
Jason Alexander that took place in Las Vegas in 2004. After drinking in
Las Vegas, the pair went down to the little white wedding chapel and exchanged vows.
When Spears shared the exciting news with her family and managers, her
entourage was quite upset because she didn’t have a
prenuptial agreement. So, Spears listened to the advice of her mother and managers and pulled
the plug on the marriage by getting an annulment.
The Las Vegas marriage was annulled on the grounds that Spears did not
understand her actions because she was incapable of agreeing to the marriage.
Could this annulment have worked in California? Perhaps, if the party
seeking an annulment can prove they had an “unsound mind”
at the time of the marriage. Meaning, if they could prove that they did
not understand the nature of the marriage when they said “I do.”
If someone were under the influence of large amount of alcohol or drugs,
or a combination of the two when they got married, they could ask the
court for an annulment on the grounds that they had an “unsound
mind” at the time.
Legal Definition of an Annulment
When the court annuls a marriage, it means it is saying that the marriage
was never lawful, that it was never legally valid. Once an annulment takes
place, it’s like the marriage never happened. In addition to the
unsound mind reason for an annulment, a marriage can be annulled for the
Incest: It’s illegal for people who are closely related to get married.
Bigamy: This is when a spouse is already married to someone else.
Under 18-years-old: It’s unlawful to get married in California unless you’re 18.
Prior existing marriage: If someone was married before but it’s been at least 5 years since
they’ve seen their spouse they still can’t get married to
another person until they dissolve the first marriage.
Fraud: If a marriage was based on lies or deceit (fraud), the innocent spouse
can ask for an annulment. Examples of a fraudulent marriage including
marrying someone just for a Green Card, or lying about their inability
to have children.
Force: If someone was forced into a marriage, it’s grounds for an annulment.
Physical incapacity: If one of the parties is physically unable to consummate the relationship
and that issue continues or appears to be incurable, it’s a reason
for an annulment.
Reducing the Divorce Gossip
Think you have grounds for an annulment in San Diego?
Contact our firm today.