The Law Offices of

B J Fadem & Associates, APC

Certified Family Law Specialist

The emotional turmoil and stress you’re going through is painful enough while the legal issues can be debilitating and complicated. The Laws regarding an Annulment are constantly changing.  Our Attorneys are always up-to-date with the current laws, regulations, procedures and required documents that apply to the legal issues of Annulments. The following information may answer some of your questions. There is a difference between an Annulment and Divorce.

What is an Annulment?
It voids a marriage and returns the parties to the status as prior to married.  It’s as if the marriage never occurred.

What are the ground rules?
An Annulment is very hard to obtain and Annulments are very hard to prove.

You must prove some type of fraud, coercion, or incompetency.  The mere fact that one or both parties are Catholic is insufficient to obtain an Annulment.

How do I get an Annulment?
File a Petition in Family Court.

Here are some of the Basic Laws regarding the Legal issues of an Annulment vs the issues of a Divorce:


An annulment (or “nullity of marriage” or “nullity of domestic partnership”) is when a court says your marriage or domestic partnership is NOT legally valid. After an annulment, it is like your marriage or domestic partnership never happened because it was never legal.


A marriage is NEVER legally valid when it is:

  • Incestuous: when the people who are married or in a registered domestic partnership are close blood relatives; or
  • Bigamous: where a spouse or domestic partner is already married to or in a registered domestic partnership with someone else.

Other marriages and partnerships can be declared invalid because of:

  • Age at the time of marriage or domestic partnership: the party filing for the annulment was under 18 years old at the time of the marriage or domestic partnership.
  • Prior existing marriage or domestic partnership: Either party was already legally married or in a registered domestic partnership. This is different from bigamy (which is automatically illegal) because, in this case, the marriage or domestic partnership took place after the former spouse or domestic partner was absent for 5 years and not known to be living or generally thought to be dead.
  • Unsound mind: either party was of “unsound mind” or unable to understand the nature of the marriage or domestic partnership, including the obligations that come with it.
  • Fraud: Either party got married or registered the domestic partnership as a result of fraud. The fraud must have been about something vital to the relationship that directly affected why the party who was deceived agreed to the marriage or domestic partnership. Some examples are marrying only to get a green card or hiding the inability to have children.
  • Force: either party consented to getting married or filing a domestic partnership as a result of force.
  • Physical incapacity: the parties got married or registered a domestic partnership while 1 of them was “physically incapacitated” (basically, it means that 1 of the spouses or partners was physically incapable of “consummating” the relationship) and the incapacity continues and appears to be “incurable.”

 The Basics of a Divorce Are:

 Divorce on the other hand is the dissolution of a marriage between two parties requiring them to distribute the property between them in accordance with the laws of the state within which they reside. California is called a community property state, which means that all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a party to the marriage during the marriage relationship while living within the state is community property. This community property shall be divided equally between the parties unless they have entered into some other written agreement or made an oral stipulation of the parties in open court. Separate property of either party to a marriage is that property, real or personal, wherever situated, which they owned prior to entering into the marriage relationship or acquired during the marriage by gift, bequest, devise or descent. In a divorce, the court will look at many things before determining alimony or spousal support, including the ability of the spouse seeking support to support themselves, the ability of a party to pay spousal support, the needs of the parties, the duration of the marriage and the standard of living established during the marriage, among other things.

Issues regarding Divorce are:

Annulment                                         Child Custody

Abduction/Child Removal               Paternity

Child Support                                     Property Division

Child Custody/Visitation                  Restraining Order

Criminal Defense                               Second Parent Adoption

Domestic Violence                            Father’s Rights

Family Support                                  Guardianship & Conservatorship

Legal Separation


Can your Law Firm file our Legal documents and/or represent me in any County?
Yes.  We can file in all California Counties and cities, including but not limited to: Alameda County, Alpine County, Amador County, Butte County, Calaveras County, Colusa County, Contra Costa County, Del Norte County, El Dorado County, Fresno County, Glenn County, Humbolt County, Inyo County, King County, Lake County, Lassen County, Madera County, Marin County, Mariposa County, Mendocino County, Merced County, Modoc County, Mono County, Monterey County, Napa County, Nevada County, Placer County, Plumas County, Sacramento County, San Benito County, San Francisco County, San Joaquin County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Shasta County, Sierra County, Siskiyou County, Solano County, Sonoma County, Stanislaus County, Sutter County, Tehama County, Trinity County, Tulare County, Tuolumne County, Yolo County, and Yuba County.  In addition,  B J Fadem has represented hundreds of clients throughout California, the United States and foreign countries [with regard to Hague matters].

Seeking sound legal counsel with regard to Annulment is a very important decision.  Making the wrong or uninformed decision could cost you your family.  Helping families is what Attorney B J Fadem does.

Our Attorneys are skilled at helping clients with Annulment legal issues and making the process as civil and polite as possible. We hope that your case will go to Mediation first or to a Settlement Conference. This will save you both time and money. However, if the Opposing Side does not hold these ideals in high regard, we will be prepared to litigate at trial.

Your issue may be time sensitive.

Please contact our office to set-up your Initial Consultation.

Please read the FAQs prior to your Initial Consultation.

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