Annulment Requirements for Florida

By Stephanie Kurose, J.D.

Annulment Requirements for Florida

By Stephanie Kurose, J.D.

In Florida, a couple may terminate their marriage by either getting a divorce or an annulment. An annulment is a court decree stating that the marriage is void, or that a legal marriage never actually took place. However, not every marriage will qualify for an annulment. Florida requires a couple to meet certain specific requirements in order to get their marriage annulled. In the case of an annulment not being an option, the couple may have to get a divorce if they still want to end their marriage.

Woman and man sitting next to each other appearing upset

The Difference Between a Divorce and an Annulment

A divorce and an annulment are similar in the sense that they both make a determination about a couple's marital status. However, the important difference between the two is that a divorce ends an existing, valid marriage, whereas an annulment declares that a legal marriage never existed in the first place.

Florida does not have a statute that specifically addresses annulments. The requirements have instead come from binding court decisions. These decisions constitute Florida's annulment laws.

Grounds for Getting an Annulment in Florida

Florida courts identify when a couple can seek an annulment in the state. An annulment is only available for void or voidable marriages. Florida law distinguishes between the two. A void marriage is a marriage that was always invalid, such as a bigamous marriage—where one spouse is already legally married to more than one person—or where both parties are underage.

A voidable marriage is one that is not necessarily invalid at the outset, but can be cancelled at the option of either spouse. An example of a voidable marriage is if, at the time of the ceremony, one spouse lacked the capacity to consent to marriage because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If, however, that spouse chooses to engage in the relationship once they've sobered up, they essentially waive their right to complain about the wrongdoing.

All marriages considered void can be annulled. In contrast, there are conditions to consider for an annulment with voidable marriages.

How to Seek an Annulment

In order to get an annulment in Florida, you must file a petition for annulment in one of Florida's circuit courts. The petition for annulment includes whether the marriage is void or voidable, and why. It must be served on the other spouse. If they disagree with what you've included in the petition, they have the right to file and serve a counterclaim.

You may also be required to provide a statement as to any children arising from the marriage as well as any marital property. The circuit court makes decisions about child custody, support, and visitation through a parenting plan. In terms of dividing up marital property, the court does not get involved as it does in a divorce. Instead, the couple must divide their own property to the best of their ability, restoring themselves to the position they were in as a single person.

Because there is no statutory guidance for getting an annulment in Florida, it can be a difficult, complex process to navigate. If you need assistance, consider enlisting the help of a professional.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.