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Annulment

 

An annulment (or "nullity of marriage" or "nullity of domestic partnership") is when a court says your marriage or domestic partnership is NOT legally valid. A marriage or domestic partnership that is incestuous or bigamous is never valid. Other marriages and partnerships can be declared "void" because:

           •of force, fraud, or physical or mental incapacity;
           •one of the spouses or partners was too young to legally marry or enter into
             a domestic partnership; or
           •one of the spouses or partners was already married or in a registered
             domestic  partnership.

 Annulments are very rare. If you ask to have your marriage or domestic partnership annulled, you will have to go to hearing with a judge.  If you have children in common with the other party, you must ask the court to establish the parentage of that person.  

In order to initiate an annulment case, you must prepare and file a Summons and Petition together with any other applicable forms.  Upon filing, the Court issues your Summons and assigns you a case number.  Your spouse must be personally served with your Summons and other documents.  You can have anyone over the age of 18 serve your spouse at no cost or you may choose to have our office have your spouse served by our registered process servers at an additional fee.   

Once your spouse is served with your Summons and other documents, he or she will have 30 days to file the appropriate documents in Court to contest your matter or they can opt to do nothing. 

If your spouse does not file the necessary documents with the Court to contest, your annulment may proceed by default.  You must prepare and file the default package with the Court.  After the Court processes your default package, you must then prepare and file the judgment package to finalize your annulment and request a default trial date. 

 If your spouse does file the necessary documents with the Court to contest, you must then complete your annulment by trial.  You must prepare all of the mandated trial documents and submit them in a timely manner in order for your trial to proceed.  If it becomes necessary for you to go to trial, it is always recommended that you have an attorney appear with you so that you have appropriate representation as this hearing will result in the Judge rendering a decision on all issues and finalizing your annulment.

In California, starting on January 1, 2005, domestic partners must also file for dissolution, legal separation, or annulment to end their relationship.  The information above also applies to the annulment of a domestic partnership.
 


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Last modified: 05/10/07.
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