Validity of the marriage in question with annulment


Q. Judge Smith, what’s the difference between an annulment and a divorce? Kaitlyn

A. Since Adam and Eve, people have come together for love, companionship, and family. Over the ages, society has defined what it means to be married and how marriages end.

Suppose two people participate in a traditional wedding ceremony and exchange their vows. Most wedding ceremonies tell couples that their unions are “for better, for worse, for the richest, for the poorest, in sickness, in health,” until death does part them. .

Marriage is a contract between two people. The two sides exchange promises of lasting love and support. Often, at the end of the ceremony, the marriage official announces: “What God brings together, let no one separate.

However, life does not always turn out that way. Civil law honors the institution of marriage but recognizes that not all marriages last. An annulment cancels an invalid marriage and a divorce ends a valid marriage.

Consider the most infamous cancellation in history. King Henry VIII wanted another son, and he didn’t think his wife, Catherine of Aragon, could have a spare heir. The Catholic Church disapproving of the divorce, Henry VIII asked for it to be annulled. When Rome refused, he founded the Anglican Church and granted himself an annulment. To quote Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be king!”

Now let’s compare the actions for annulment and divorce under Florida law. Generally, actions for annulment invoke either a lack of capacity or a lack of consent to the marriage.


Common grounds for contesting the ability to marry are bigamy, incest, and being a minor. You cannot marry someone who is already married. The law prohibits relatives from marrying. And depending on the state, if you’re too young to buy a car, you may be too young to get married.

Common grounds for challenging the lack of consent to marriage are coercion, deception and mental incapacity. Coercion deprives the innocent party of free will. Fictitious marriages occur when the parties do not intend to be bound by their vows or to accept their rights and duties as spouses.

Moreover, the parties can only marry if both understand the marriage contract and the obligations it creates. If you were so drunk during the wedding ceremony that you didn’t understand the consequences of saying “yes”, you might be a candidate for an annulment.

An affirmative defense to annulment is consent to marriage. Usually, you cannot cancel a marriage after accepting the benefits. For example, claiming that you were “too drunk to get married” might not work if you live with your partner after sobering up. The fact of not consummating the marriage alone is not a ground for annulment.


On the other hand, a divorce ends a valid marriage when one of the spouses demands it and provides proof of irreconcilable differences.

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