You may qualify to have your marriage erased.
It’s one thing to get divorced, but entirely another to get an annulment. While a divorce dissolves the marriage, an annulment is essentially a court order declaring that the marriage never existed. And yet while most family law attorneys handle a multitude of divorces, many have never seen an annulment, much less done one themselves. Annulments are tricky: there is no provision for them in Florida’s statutes, and the grounds are entirely different from those used for divorces.
Our client entered into a marriage under circumstances that, shall we say, changed very dramatically soon after the nuptials. She wanted out – and, for religious reasons, to have the marriage to never be formally recognized. Was this doable, she asked. Difficult at best, we answered, but nothing we were afraid to tackle.
To prove to the Court that a marriage never should have been recognized in the first place is a high bar indeed. The Doctrine of Public Policy in Florida regarding the sanctity of marriage is very strong. In essence, the State intensely encourages the institution of marriage and only allows marriage vows to be cast aside in extreme circumstances. In this case, we pointed to several factors. For one, they never lived together, or “consummated” the marriage (meaning they never “did it”). For another, they never shared any assets or liabilities. Knowing that it is difficult to have something like a formal marriage declared null and void under Florida law, we brought every variable to the table – including an affidavit from the husband wherein he attested to several key truths. We wish we could give you more facts, but, alas, attorney/client privilege prevents us from providing those details.
In the end, we prevailed and the marriage was annulled! Our client got her annulment and the (happy?) couple will now live out their lives as if the marriage had never occurred. Hopefully you’ll never end up in a marriage-that-should-never-have-been scenario, but if you do, we can help! Family law – including annulment and divorce – can be complicated, but we’ve got the tools to help make it easier. If you’ve got a sticky family law issue that’s haunting you, let us know. We’d be honored to help.