Perhaps the sparkle has faded from your Sunshine State romance, and you are looking at the legal options for ending your marriage. With a few options from which to choose (legal separation, summary dissolution, annulment, divorce) figuring out which is right for you can be difficult. The legal proceedings to end your marriage generally have strict rules regarding what circumstances they cover to whom they apply. Here is a brief summary of one of those processes: annulment and prohibited marriages in Florida.
Annulments and Prohibited Marriages
Not all marriages are allowed. Each state has its own set of laws prohibiting marriage in certain situations. For example, Florida laws prohibit close relatives from marrying. Below, you'll find more information on Florida annulment and prohibited marriage laws, including a list of the types of marriages that are prohibited in the Sunshine State.
Annulment Laws in Florida
Most states have their own specific annulment and prohibited marriage laws. Below are some of the details found in Florida's state statutes.
||741.21, 211, 212; 826.01
|Grounds for Annulment
||No statutory provisions
|Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment
|Legitimacy of Children
||No marriage between persons related by lineal consanguinity, sister, aunt, niece, brother, uncle, nephew; common law marriages (after 1967); bigamy (felony: 826.01 et seq.)
Other grounds for annulment in Florida include:
- Lack of consent due to mental incapacity;
- Lack of consent due to influence of alcohol or drugs;
- One spouse was underage and lacked parental consent; and
- One spouse used fraudulent acts or misrepresentations to obtain the consent of the other spouse.
Same-Sex Marriage in Florida
Florida law did not recognize same-sex marriages at the state level until the Supreme Court's 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision. In 2008, Florida voters approved a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and civil unions. Despite this state-wide prohibition, some cities, towns, and counties continued to recognize domestic partnerships and offer city- or county-wide partner benefits.
The Obergefell decision found state bans on same-sex marriage to be an unconstitutional violation of the 14th Amendment's equal protection rights. The refusal of states to recognize the lawful same-sex marriages of other states was similarly found unconstitutional. However, Florida may yet seek to prevent same-sex marriage through additional legislation. You can stay updated on the latest legal developments by visiting FindLaw's same-sex marriage section and the list of states that allow same-sex marriage.
Related Resources for Florida Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws
The decision to end a marriage can be a difficult one, especially if you are unsure whether or not your marriage was legal to begin with. If you would like legal assistance with your case, you can consult with an experienced Florida divorce attorney. You can also find more introductory information about this topic by visiting FindLaw's sections on annulment, divorce, and Florida family law.