Florida is one of the literal handful of states that has no annulment statutes. Annulment in Florida is purely a question of common law, decided pursuant to the inherent equitable powers of the circuit court. As a result, the key concept of an “impediment” to marriage under rather ancient principles survives in Florida. Some of the qualifications for an Annulment are as follows:
IMPEDIMENTS TO MARRIAGE:
- Non-Age – The general age of consent in Florida is 18, with exceptions where parents consent, or where the parties are parents or expectant parents. § 741.0405, FLA. STAT. (2011). Aside from these exceptions, younger persons (“minors”) do not have the capacity to contract marriage, as is true of other contracts.
- Consanguinity — Parties who are related within certain degrees cannot marry each other. See, § 741.21, FLA. STAT. (2011) (entitled “Incestuous marriages prohibited”).
- Bigamy – While none of the “marriage” statutes found in Chapter 741 specifically address purported marriages between one person and another who is still legally married to a third party, bigamy is, of course, a crime. See, § 826.01, FLA. STAT. (2011) (as to person who marries while still married to another); § 826.03, FLA. STAT. (2011) (as to person who knowingly marries a person still married).
- Physical Incapacity – Because of the physical/sexual aspect of the traditional marital relationship, inability to consummate the marriage, or “impotence,” is a ground to argue incapacity. In this context, impotence is inability to have sex, not infertility or sterility. See, e.g., Cott v. Cott, 98 So.2d 379 (Fla. 2d DCA 1957).
This is just the tip of the reasons why most Florida Citizens petition the Court for an Annulment. There are other causes that affect consent like fraud, lack of mental capacity, sham marriages and undue influence/duress aka the famous shotgun weddings!
If you feel that your marriage is the result of fraud or that your spouse is only entering into the commitment of marriage for personal gain and has no intent to live with you as actual husband and wife, then please feel free to contact me, Attorney Gabriel Carrera, 24/7 by phone at (954)-533-7593 or through email at [email protected] – and we can begin the process of settling your legal concerns.