For a variety of reasons, some California couples would prefer an annulment rather than a conventional divorce. This could be due to religious requirements or for another personal reason. An annulment differs from a regular divorce, and there are certain divorce legal issues that should be understood when seeking an annulment. One is the statute of limitations. In general, once the time runs out for a person to get an annulment, it cannot be done. The amount of time a person gets to file for an annulment varies based on the reason for the annulment.
The statute of limitations for an annulment based on the age of the parties at the time of the marriage if they were under 18 is four years after they have turned 18. A parent or guardian still has the right to ask for the annulment if the minor is under 18. If there was a prior marriage at the time of the subsequent marriage, an annulment can be requested if both parties in the current marriage are alive. It can also be requested by the prior spouse.
If a party claims that the spouse is of unsound mind, or a relative or conservator of the person who is of unsound mind wishes to have an annulment, it can be done at any time before death. An allegation of fraud can result in an annulment only by the person who was deceived. This must be filed within four years of the time at which the fraud was discovered. There can be an annulment if the marriage came about because of force. This must be filed within four years of the marriage. Finally, there can be an annulment by a spouse who claims the other spouse is physically incapacitated. This must be done within four years of getting married.
For those who would like the annul the marriage and make it as if it never happened, there are certain criteria and limits as to when this can be done. For assistance in settling a dispute at the end of a marriage in which an annulment is desired, a lawyer who is experienced in all aspects of divorce can help.
Source: courts.ca.gov, "Annulment -- Statute of Limitations to File for an Annulment," accessed on May 23, 2017