Marriage can be stressful, especially if you never intended on getting married in the first place. If a wild night in a California town resulted in you getting married while intoxicated, you may be able to have the marriage annulled. In California, being of unsound mind at the time of the marriage – including severe intoxication – is one of the legal grounds for having your marriage annulled. Here are four things you should know about the annulment process.
What is an Annulment?
Simply stated, a civil annulment legally ends a marriage and declares that it never existed in the first place. While a divorce also ends a marriage, it doesn't undo the actual existence of the event. Once you've received an annulment, you will once again be legally single, since the law recognizes that you were never married.
What Are the Grounds for Annulment?
If you're trying to have your marriage annulled, you'll need to qualify under one of five separate causes. Those causes include the following:
- Fraud or misrepresentation – one of the spouses lied about something that was important to the marriage
- Marriage not consummated – one of the spouses is unable or unwilling to engage in sexual intercourse
- Incest, bigamy, or underage party – spouses are blood-related, one of the spouses is already married, or one of the parties is underage
- Unsound mind – one of the spouses was impaired by drugs or alcohol, or was without the mental capacity to understand what was going on
- Force – one of the spouses were forced into a marriage that they didn't want
Is There a Statute of Limitations?
In the state of California, there are specific time limits on each type of annulment. If you're attempting to have your marriage annulled based on unsound mind, you'll have up to the time that your spouse passes away to file for an annulment. However, if you're attempting to file for an annulment based on another cause, you'll need to follow the statute of limitations for those specific causes.
Does It Affect the Children?
If your marriage resulted in children, you might be worried about how an annulment with affect them. It's important to note that while an annulment does end a marriage, it doesn't affect the children who were born into the relationship. They are still considered legal children of both parents, and are entitled to child support.
If a night of intoxication resulted in a marriage that you didn't want, you should talk to an attorney, like those at Knollmeyer Law Office, about annulment. They'll be able to explain the process to you and help you understand the options that are available to you.