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One Wants a Divorce, One Wants an Annulment: Disagreement on a Termination of a Florida Marriage

Kim_Kardashian_6.jpgKim Kardashian, currently carrying the baby of rapper boyfriend Kanye West, has filed for an emergency divorce from her husband Kris Humphreys. According to several sources Kris Humpreys, basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets, has repeatedly professed his wishes to be married only once and is looking to annul his marriage with Kim rather than divorce citing her unwillingness to give the 72 day marriage a chance to thrive. Kris has remained relatively silent on the matter and has let his attorney do all the talking.

According to papers filed with a California court, Kim’s purpose for filing for an emergency divorce is supposedly for the benefit of her unborn baby. In the documents, Kim cited the health and well-fare of both Kim and her baby as reason to expedite the proceedings as she is soon to pass her first trimester.

Kris, through his attorney Marshall Waller, is now seemingly throwing out all the stops to stall the divorce process and eliminate her emergency plea. In papers filed with the court in response to Kim’s plea Waller explains that Kim’s pregnancy has nothing to do with his client Kris and should not affect the timing or nature of the divorce proceedings.

In the end, Kim is aiming for a speedy divorce and Kris is seeking an annulment. So what’s the big difference?

An annulment simply explained is a way of terminating the marriage by convincing the judge the marriage was not valid from the start. This requires a showing on the grounds the marriage was either “void” or “voidable”. A “void marriage” is one that should not have legally existed to begin with, for example marrying a sibling, as Florida law strictly prohibits marriages of incest. These marriages are annulled at their inception. A “voidable marriage” means the marriage was legal and may proceed happily but something, typically revealed later, has the ability to nullify it. If a partner is under the age of consent, and neither parent consented, it is voidable and may be annuled if a party petitions the court. However, the couple could continue the marriage if they wish.

After an annulment the law does not recognize the marriage to have ever existed. Thus annulments erase the marriage and divorces simply end them.

Getting a divorce in Florida may be possible in nearly any situation with the state’s no-fault rules, an annulment is not so convenient. A no-fault divorce allows either party to seek a divorce if the marriage has become irretrievably broken. This does require a divorce proceeding and a review by the court that all property matters are properly dealt with. An annulment can only be obtained based on those void or voidable factors.

Annulment in Florida is governed by case law so it is up to the judge’s discretion on whether to grant one. A judge may see any sort of marital sexual activity after nullifying details have been discovered as reason not to grant an annulment. Furthermore, a judge is not likely to grant an annulment unless both parties are present. Because there is little governing case law, no established procedure, and nearly absolute authority in the judge, annulments may be a risky process. It is important to seek an experienced divorce attorney to guide you down the path and advise you of your options.

Attorney Sandy T. Fox is committed to helping clients in the Miami area effectively seek the best outcome for their family law matters. The Law Firm of Sandy T. Fox focuses exclusively on family law issues, including divorce, possible annulment, child custody, domestic violence, alimony, and child support. To schedule your confidential consultation with experienced family law attorney Sandy T. Fox, please do not hesitate to call our law office toll free at (800) 596-0579 or contact us through our website.

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Deion Sanders’s Prenuptial Agreement Debate Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, January 22, 2013
Miami Heat Guard Dwyane Wade’s Ex-Wife Must Travel to Florida for Visitation With Sons Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, Aug 7, 2012
Attorney’s Fees And Costs In Your Fort Lauderdale Divorce, Time-Sharing And Alimony Case Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, Aug 31, 2009
Photo Credit: Luke Ford [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

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