Annulment in California takes place when the Marriage  is Void or Voidable

A judgment of Annulment in California will be granted when a marriage is adjudged void or voidable  Fam C §§22002201 (void marriages), 2210 (voidable marriages). A marriage is void if the ground is incest and bigamy, and marriage is voidable if there are minority, a current spouse mistakenly believed to be deceased, unsound mind, fraud, force, and physical incapacity..

Although it considered that  no marriage took place, regardless of obtaining judgment  of annulment in California, it is good practice to obtain a judgment of annulment in California anyway since it provides a judicial determination that cleared the parties’ marital status.In addition, in some circumstances, a party to a void marriage could  be entitled to  property and support rights. Also, when  children were borne from that relationship, issues of custody, visitation, and child support need  be addressed in  annulment in California action.

Void Marriage

A marriage between

  • Parents and children;
  • Ancestors and descendants of every degree;
  • Siblings “of the half or whole blood”; and
  • Uncles or aunts and nieces or nephews.


When couple get marriage while either party is married to another person, the marriage  is usually bigamous and Annulment in California would resulted because such marriage void from the beginning.


If at the time of the marriage , the petitioner is younger than 18 and the parental and court consents were not obtained, the marriage is voidable. The only exception is when  the petitioner entered into the marriage under Fam C §302 or §303. Fam C §2210(a).

A nullity action filed by a party who was underage at the time of the marriage must be filed within 4 years after the party attains age 18. Fam C §2211(a)(1). The action may be filed by the party’s parent or guardian if it is filed before the party attains age 18.

A minor who misrepresents her or his age in order to get a marriage l is not barred from petitioning for Annulment in California

.Unsound Mind

A party is “of unsound mind” when she or he is not capable of understanding the nature of the marriage contract and responsibilities it creates. The degree of mental capacity at the time of the marriage determine the validity of marriage.

Annulment in California action on the ground of unsound mind could be  filed not only by the spouse, but also by a relative or conservator  of an unsound mind spouse, at any time before the death of either party.


If either party’s consent to marriage was obtained by fraud there is a ground for Annulment in California . The concealment constituting the fraud or false representations should directly affect the purpose of the party convinced in getting marriage. Fraud must be essential for the marital relationship  to be enough for a Annulment in California. The supporting evidence must be  is clear and convincing.

For a client who has married based on representations that, although false, may not meet the standard for a nullity based on fraud, the requirement can be a difficult one to understand and accept. The attorney must exercise considerable care in explaining the applicable law and in advising the client about the likelihood of the court’s granting a judgment of nullity based on fraud.

An action Annulment in California on the ground of fraud shall be filed within 4 years after discovery of the fraud. This statute of limitations begin when the injured party becomes aware of facts that would make a reasonable person suspicious.


If there is a force involved in party’s consent to get marriage, a marriage is voidable.

An action for Annulment in California on the ground of force may be filed only by the injured party and must be filed within 4 years after the date of the marriage.

Physical Incapacity

If either party was, at the time of the marriage, physically incapable to engage in normal copulation and the incapacity continues and appears to be incurable, the marriage is voidable

An action for a judgment of Annulment in California on the ground of physical incapacity may be filed only by the non-incapacitated party and must be filed within 4 years after the date of the marriage.

No Requirement of Consent or Default

For Annulment in California there is no requirement that either the respondent consent or his or her default be entered.

Effect of Judgment on Parties’ Marital Status in Annulment in California

A judgment of Annulment in California restores the parties to the status of unmarried people as were never married. During a dissolution judgment there is specify a future date on which the parties will be single. A judgment of Annulment in California always results in the parties being free to remarry immediately. A divorce judgment dissolves the existing marriage and leaves intact the marriage between the date of marriage and the date of termination of the marital status, a judgment of Annulment in California is “relate back”.  The court has held  that if a party who obtained Annulment in California on the grounds of force can establish that the remarriage was not due to any voluntary act on his or her part, the court would have the authority to reinstate spousal support based on equity.

Putative Marriage Doctrine

When a marriage is invalid because of above stated reasons , an innocent party may be entitled, under the putative marriage doctrine, to some orders in addition to the decree of Annulment in California. To be a “putative spouse” a spouse must have had a good faith belief that their marriage was valid.

Domestic partnership. A party with a good faith belief in the validity of his or her registered domestic partnership is entitled to protection as a putative registered domestic partner, even if such domestic partnership was not properly registered.

  Division of Property

If the division of property is in issue in Annulment in California proceedings and the court finds that one or both persons are entitled to the status of a putative spouse, the court would divide the property acquired during the marriage that would have been community or quasi-community property had the marriage been valid. It shall be requested by a party who is declared a putative spouse. The property will be divided in the same way that community and quasi-community property are divided in a proceeding for divorce.

Support for Putative Spouse

A putative spouse may be awarded support from the other party, both during the process of a Annulment in California proceeding and in a judgment.