Annulment Fraud & California Law

By Wayne Thomas

Not all marriages are valid in California. If one spouse uses fraud to induce the other to marry, an annulment may be granted by the court. Annulments have the effect of restoring the parties to a position as if the marriage never occurred. However, due to the availability of divorces, annulments are applicable only in limited circumstances and require more proof than is typically needed to dissolve a marriage.

Overview of Annulment

Marriages that do not meet the requirements outlined in state law may be annulled in California. An annulment is a legal determination made by a court that your marriage never existed. This is not to be confused with a divorce, which ends a valid marriage. Unlike divorce, there is no waiting period for an annulment. This is because the state has no interest in the parties staying together. Further, instead of dividing property acquired during the marriage as is customary with every California divorce, the property simply remains with the owner after the marriage is annulled. Similarly, no alimony or child support is awarded in an annulment proceeding.

Fraud

Fraud is the most common basis for annulment in California. In order to be successful in proving fault, you must first show that your spouse made a misrepresentation and you were unaware of the misrepresentation at the time of marriage. In addition, the misrepresentation must have been vital to the marriage relationship and you must demonstrate that had you known the truth, you never would have agreed to marry. The basic principle of this type of fraud is that you were under the impression that you married out of love and found out later the other person had an ulterior motive.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Examples

Typical misrepresentations that might be considered grounds for annulment in California are using marriage to obtain U.S. citizenship or concealing the fact that one is impotent while professing a desire to have children. Because love and procreation are viewed as fundamental components to a marriage, a court will annul a marriage when parties are tricked into marrying for these reasons. On the other hand, you will have more difficulty convincing a judge you were induced into a marriage based on fraud if the misrepresentation is not considered vital to the marriage relationship, such as your spouse concealing a drug addiction.

Proof

Even if you can establish the misrepresentation was vital to the marriage relationship, annulments require additional evidence. In the case of impotency, you will need to prove that your spouse knew he could not have children before the marriage. You will also need to establish you would not have married your spouse had you known he was impotent. Because this evidence is rarely in writing, credible witness testimony is usually necessary. Further, evidence that you continued to live with your spouse after discovering the misrepresentation, or unexplained delays in filing for annulment, will reduce your likelihood of being successful.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Missouri Annulment Information
 

References

Related articles

What Is the Time Limit for Getting an Annulment in the State of Nevada?

Nevada allows couples to annul a marriage in a limited number of cases. Because of the wide availability of divorce, state law strictly limits the grounds for which an annulment may be sought. In addition, while there is typically no time limit for bringing the action, an exception applies to marriages based on age of consent, which must be brought within one year after the minor child reaches 18.

How to Get a Divorce if Your Marriage Was Never Valid

If your marriage is a sham, you have two options for ending it. One’s difficult and the other may not be so hard, but it depends on your particular circumstances and whether your spouse wants to put an end to the charade as much as you do.

Annulment Requirements for Florida

In Florida, a marriage may be terminated by divorce or annulment. An annulment is basically a decree that a marriage is void, or that a legal marriage never actually took place. To annul your marriage, you need to meet certain specific criteria recognized by Florida courts. However, Florida courts will also recognize a request for an annulment if you and your spouse never lived together as husband and wife or consummated your marriage.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Conditions for Marriage Annulment in North Carolina

North Carolina, like most states, allows parties to obtain an annulment rather than a divorce. Qualifying for an ...

South Carolina Annulment Laws

Certain marriages are prohibited by law in South Carolina. Couples that enter into these illegal relationships can ...

How to File for an Annulment in Maryland

You can only file for annulment in Maryland if your marriage possesses certain defects. For example, if your spouse ...

How to Get an Annulment in New York

An annulment, like a divorce, ends a marriage. Unlike a divorce, however, it voids the union. A judicial annulment is ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED