Annulment (Nullity of Marriage)

An annulment is a proceeding to declare a marriage void and not legally valid. If you are seeking an annulment, or nullity of marriage, you will need to prove in a court hearing that your marriage satisfies one of the grounds listed below. These must have applied at the time you and your spouse married:

  1. Incest: incest means that spouses are close blood relatives.
  2. Bigamy: bigamy means a spouse was knowingly married to another living person at the time of marriage.
  3. Underage: underage means a spouse was below age 18 years at the time of marriage and did not obtain parental consent or a court order permitting the marriage.
  4. Prior Existing Marriage: prior existing marriage means a spouse married on the mistaken belief that his or her previous marriage had ended in the death of the other spouse, who in fact was still living.
  5. Unsound Mind: unsound mind means a spouse could not and has not formed the intent to marry due to a medical condition.
  6. Fraud: fraud means deception regarding a significant matter that led to the marriage and continued until the breakup.
  7. Force: force means threats or acts of harm were used to force one spouse into the marriage.
  8. Incapacity: incapacity means a spouse was and continues to be physically unable to consummate the marriage.

An annulment restores the parties to the status of not having been married.
The procedures are the same as in dissolution of marriage.
For more information, visit the California Courts/Judicial Council Self Help Center on this topic.