Orange County Annulment Attorney

While litigated divorce is the most common type of marriage dissolution, there are other options, such as an annulment. It can be easier and less expensive to get an annulment if your case qualifies for it. In the following, you will find more information about annulment in Orange County, California, and the benefits of hiring an Orange County family law lawyer from Kaufman Steinberg.

Grounds For Annulment

Following are some of the grounds for annulment in Orange County, California. You may need to meet more than one of the following requirements to get an annulment:

Annulment Vs. Divorce

A divorce is a legal procedure filed by a person to dissolve their valid marriage on the grounds of irreconcilable differences between them and their spouse. An annulment is a legal process to get the marriage declared invalid. In other words, annulment dissolves the marriage as if it never happened. The marriage is considered void in an annulment.

The grounds for divorce and annulment are different. For instance, a divorce petition can be filed by a person if they no longer find themselves compatible with their spouse. There are two grounds for divorce. One is when both parties have a mutual agreement for a “no-fault” divorce, which is when neither party is pursuing divorce due to irresponsibility or misbehavior by the other party.

The other ground for divorce is an “at fault” divorce, which is when one party files the divorce petition when their party commits an act of desertion, adultery, or drug abuse. However, an annulment occurs when the decision to marry on either end was due to a misrepresentation, the influence of drugs, or other factors that make it void.

There is a difference in the financial outcomes of both divorce and annulment. If you file for divorce, the Orange County courts can distribute shared community property equitably among you and your spouse depending on a few factors, including prenuptial agreements.

When you get an annulment, you and the other party are left with their original finances. Depending on the duration of the marriage before an annulment is filed, it can impact alimony and child support outcomes.

In a divorce settlement, alimony is typically paid by one spouse to the other to support their lifestyle. Alimony payments are rarely made in cases when a marriage is annulled. Child support is handled in annulment the same way it is handled in a divorce case; it depends on which party has child custody and the length of the marriage.

Statute Of Limitations And Timeline For An Annulment

The timeline restriction varies depending on the nature of the annulment. Following are the timelines for an annulment.


If one or both parties were minors at the time of marriage, an annulment can be filed from the time when both turn 18 to the first four years of marriage. If one party was a minor and they have reached the age of 18, they can file an annulment before they complete four years of marriage.


At any time of marriage, if you discover that your spouse is also married to someone else and has misrepresented their relationship status to get you to marry them, you can file for an annulment. There are no timeline restrictions for filing for an annulment.


If your spouse has committed any kind of fraud to get you to marry them, you have at least four years from when you discover their deceitful means to file for an annulment.

Physical Disability

If your spouse has some incurable physical disability and cannot consummate the marriage, you can file for annulment within the first four years of marriage.

Mental Disability

While marrying, if you were not in a sound mental state or your decision was influenced by drug abuse, you can annul the marriage anytime. There is no time restriction on annulment due to mental disability or unsound decision. You can also annul the marriage anytime if your spouse is mentally disabled.

Coerced Or Forced

If you were coerced, forced, or threatened by your spouse to consent to marriage, you can file for annulment within the first four years of marriage.

Terms And Conditions Of Your Annulment

The court can give an annulment for two reasons: the marriage was void (involved bigamy) or voidable (involved unsound decision of minors). Other than that, the court may require proof that you were defrauded into marriage. If the court declares you a putative spouse for your belief that the voidable marriage between you and your spouse was valid, the community property acquired by you and your spouse is divided equitably. When the marriage is granted a judgment of nullity by the court, according to family law, both parties are considered as if they were never wedded.

Get Guidance From Annulment Lawyers On Annulment And Paternity

In California, even when the marriage is declared null and void, your former husband remains the legal father of your children. After the annulment, paternity rights reside with the mother. If the father wants paternity rights, he must seek them by pursuing litigation. The father must request the court to establish paternity rights before a custody and support agreement is filed in court.

How Can An Orange County Annulment Attorney Help?

Even though the process of filing for Orange County annulment is similar to that of filing for divorce, there are some key differences. Legal representation in court and consultation from an experienced family law or annulment attorney from Kaufman Steinberg can help you complete the annulment procedure. Our attorneys can help you gather information and expedite the annulment process. They can also help you gather facts that would allow for your marriage to qualify for an annulment and guide you on family law, child support, spousal support, and visitation rights.

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.”

– Richard Bach
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