Why Get an Annulment Instead of a Divorce?
It is easy to think that a divorce and an annulment are the same thing. In fact they are actually very different from a legal perspective. A divorce is the end of a legal marriage, whereas an annulment means that the marriage, essentially, never happened from a legal point of view.
Unlike a divorce, you cannot simply request an annulment due to irreconcilable differences. Annulments are only given in very specific circumstances, and you must be able prove that your marriage meets one of these standards. Also, a statute of limitations exists for requesting an annulment.
If an annulment is so hard to get, why attempt it all?
If your marriage meets one of the allowable conditions for an annulment AND you want to keep as many of your assets as possible OR not be required to pay alimony, an annulment may be worth the attempt.
California is a community property state, which means that in the event of a divorce, you will be required to evenly split your “community estate” with your spouse if you do not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. This community estate includes all income earned and resulting assets purchased while the spouses were married and living together. If you earned significantly more income than your spouse, this could be a big financial blow to you. However, if you can successfully get an annulment, then the marriage effectively never existed, which means the community property laws don’t apply. Neither does the requirement of spousal support.
If you live in Temecula and want to explore the possibility of an annulment contact Albrecht & Albrecht at (951) 693-3132 for a free consultation.