Florida has annulments, but they are not governed by Florida Statute or law. As a family law attorney in Jacksonville, Florida, I can honestly say that annulments are rare. Annulments are most common in religious settings mainly because a church will sometimes require one from its divorced members. However, getting a court to sign off on an annulment requires a number of steps to be shown or proven to the court.
In Florida, there are only two ways to be granted an annulment, either by showing the marriage is void or showing it is voidable. While they are similar words, they are very different terms. For purposes of this article, I am focusing on the voidable scenario.
A voidable marriage is one where the parties may present to the court that their marriage is invalid for one of the reasons below. However, if the marriage is consummated (marital relations take place) any time after learning of the voidable action, then an annulment is not possible. The following are the forms and explanations of a voidable marriage.
1. Fraud and deceit: Where the deceiving party was lying regarding material facts and the other party actually rely on the misrepresentation. (Example: not telling the other party ones real identity).
2. Duress and undue influence: The act of duress must be shown to have stopped the innocent party from expressing or acting with any form of freewill.
3. Consanguinity: This is actually where the parties are related within a certain degree of one another (example: first cousins).
4. Impotence: This is simply the inability to have marital relations. However, simply being sterile does not give rise to an voidable marriage.
Annulments are not governed by Florida Statute and require more work than a simple divorce, so you should seek the assistance or a good family law attorney to help you.