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I've Only Been Married a Few Weeks, Can I Get an Annulment?

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“What does the average California wedding have in common with a small luxury car? Both will cost about $40,000,” Andrew Sheeler wrote in

“That's the finding of The Knot's survey of average wedding costs in cities across the United States for 2017. The survey found that weddings in Los Angeles ($44,142) and San Francisco ($39,329) cost well above the national average of $33,391, though they are still substantially cheaper than the average Manhattan wedding, which clocks in at $76,944.”

Britney Spears & Jason Alexander’s Annulment

If you tied the knot and had a very expensive wedding and now you’re thinking of changing your “I do” to “I don’t,” you may be wondering if you can skip the divorce and get an annulment. After all, we can all remember when Britney Spears married her childhood friend, Jason Alexander after she flew him to Las Vegas in a private jet.

After drinking and having “party favors,” the couple went to the little white wedding chapel and got married. When Spears and Alexander shared the happy news of their nuptials with her mother and managers, they went crazy because the couple didn’t draft a prenup.

The marriage was annulled based on the grounds that Spears “lacked understanding of her actions, to the extent that she was incapable of agreeing to the marriage.” Their marriage lasted a total of 55 hours.

“In an interview, Spears explained that she was ‘being silly, being rebellious, and not really taking the responsibility of what I was doing.’

“In July of 2004, Britney Spears announces her engagement to Kevin Federline. The couple divorced three years later. She has not since remarried,” reported Rolling Stone.

So, in light of Britney Spears’ story, the question is, can anybody get an annulment if they realized they made a BIG mistake? What about you, can you get an annulment too? Read on as we explore annulments in more detail.

Annulments in California

Let’s say you’ve only been married a few weeks. Unfortunately, your family dropped a small fortune on the wedding, but your spouse showed their true colors and now all you want is to get it annulled like Spears and Alexander.

Maybe your spouse cheated on you during their bachelor or bachelorette party. Maybe they tried to kiss one of the groomsmen or bridesmaids at the wedding itself, or maybe you discovered a deep, dark secret shortly after the wedding. Regardless, you don’t want a marriage based on a lie and you want out.

For starters, an annulment is not based on how long you have been married. Even if you’ve only been married a few weeks or months, you may not be able to prove to a judge that your specific case involves a valid legal reason that makes the marriage invalid.

Legal Reasons for an Annulment

Under California law, a marriage is NEVER valid under the following circumstances:

  1. The marriage isincestuous because the people are related by blood.
  2. The marriage is bigamous because one spouse is already married to someone else.
  3. At the time of the marriage, one party was under the age of 18.
  4. One party was legally married to someone else, but the partner was absent for 5 or more years and the party didn’t know if their spouse was dead or alive, but generally, the absent spouse was thought to be dead. This is different than bigamy.
  5. One of the parties was “of unsound mind” or could not understand the nature of the marriage, and this includes the marital obligations involved.
  6. Either party got married as a result of fraud, a fraud that is vital to the relationship. For example, someone marrying you just for a Green Card, or hiding the fact that they can’t have children when you wanted to have a family.
  7. Either party was forced to get married.
  8. One of the spouses is physically incapable of having sexual relations and this incapacity continues and appears that it cannot be cured.

Do you want an annulment? In order to do so, you’ll have to prove to a judge that one of the eight reasons listed above is true in your case. Proving you have a legally-valid reason to get your marriage annulled can be a difficult task, thus, you should talk to an attorney at our firm to explore your legal options, and to find out if an annulment is a possibility.

If there is clear evidence that an annulment is in your future, we can tell you exactly what is needed to show a judge so he or she will be more likely to be convinced and give you the annulment you’re asking for.

What if I Can’t Get An Annulment?

If you apply for an annulment and it’s denied, that doesn’t mean you have to stay married, it just means you’ll have to file an amended petition. In this case, you’ll change your request from an annulment to a divorce, or a legal separation if you prefer.

From there, you’ll have to follow the proper steps to get a divorce or legal separation, and this includes meeting California’s residency requirements (living in California for at least 6 months and at least 3 months in the county that you’ll be filing the divorce petition).

Next: My Marriage is a Sham

Seeking legal advice regarding an annulment or divorce in Los Angeles? Contact our firm to schedule a free case evaluation.


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