I filed for a divorce in the state of California. My husband responded with an annulment. We were married in 2004. He bought a house for me to live in 2008. He never put my name on the deed. He did not live there but came to visit once a week for 2 years. Can he get an annulment?


Family Questions

in California Posted 6 years, 1 month ago

12 Responses

Profile Picture of Stuart Bronstein
Stuart Bronstein

Attorney at Attorney

It is unlikely he can get an annulment, but it depends on his reasons and if they justify an annulment under the law.

If this is a concern, you really should consult a lawyer, or you may lose rights simply because you don't know how to protect yourself. If your husband earns more money than you do, the court may order him to pay some or all of your attorney's fees.

Good luck.

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Susan Susan

You are right. He will try to justify his reason for asking for an annulment. He has the money for lawyers. I have been through this with him twice, both times he cancelled and we were reunited. I need a lawyer but they want a retainer. All my money is paying the mortgage to keep it from foreclosing. Do you know of a lawyer in the Stanislaus county that would let me pay later?
Thank you, Susan

Profile Picture of Stuart Bronstein
Stuart Bronstein

Attorney at Attorney

Sorry, I don't know of anyone to refer you to.

What you should do is call your county's bar association lawyer referral service, and ask if there are lawyers on their low-fee panel. Often young lawyers will take on cases at reduced or deferred fees.

Their phone number is (209) 571-5727. Or you can go to their website,
https://stanbar.org/lawyer-referral-service/need-a-lawyer-referral/

If that doesn't work, look for a women's support group or abused spouses' group that might have referrals to people who would help.

Good luck.

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Susan Susan

Thank you for the advise. I called that phone number and it requires $50.00 for a 30 min consult with a lawyer. I have half of that saved up. I contacted the women's support group and was given that same number. Our first hearing is in 2 weeks. Is there anything I could mail to have filed before I arrive in court that would help my case or does the judge not want a lot of information that has gone on the 7 yrs of marriage and why I need this divorce?
Thank you
Susan

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Paul Zahn

Attorney at Law at Zahn Law Office

Generally, if one party wants a divorce, then that is what will be granted. The reasons for granting an annulment are very specific and have to be proven, which is not an easy thing to do. The specific reasons are codified in California Family Code Section 2210 and are: a bigamous marriage, an incestuous marriage, or a defect in capacity (age of one of the parties, fraud, unsound mind, force, or physical incapacity. If your marriage does not fit in one of these categories, then it does not qualify for an annulment.

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Susan Susan

Thank you. In 2009 when he filed for an annulment I noticed he marked the fraud box. He cancelled before we had a hearing. When we got back together I asked him why he marked fraud and he said because I never really lived with him in the old farm house where he does his farming. He owns two homes. I lived in the newer one that he bought for us. He never put my name on the deed. He bought the furniture and stayed there one to two nights a week. I look back at our 7 year marriage and I think he has been very careful that my name isn't on anything he buys. He asked me to sign some papers when he bought his most recent business also. Can I please ask you what the meaning of fraud is under the CA Family Code Section 2210. I see it's listed after defect in capacity. The only fraud I can think that he and his lawyer might use against me is that he told me I could live in the new house but would need to go to the old farm house and clean and cook once a week for him. I ended up not doing it because there were papers and junk everywhere (even on the kitchen counters) and he would get upset if I moved anything to clean or cook. It always ended up us fighting so I stopped going there. And there were times if I showed up without calling he would not let me in.
Thank you
Susan

Profile Picture of Stuart Bronstein
Stuart Bronstein

Attorney at Attorney

First of all, what you are describing isn't fraud at all. Even if it were, it's not the kind of thing that would allow someone to nullify a marriage.

The kind of fraud necessary to nullify a marriage has to do with intentionally getting someone to marry you based on false promises. If you enter into a marriage only because you want a green card, for example, and your spouse doesn't know about it, that's the kind of fraud that could lead to an annulment.

But again, if you don't find a lawyer to help, he may just get what he wants because you won't know how to properly combat it.

Good luck.

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Susan Susan

Thank you for your help. I am trying to save up for a consult with an CA lawyer. Our first hearing is in 2 weeks. I think my husband is going to be very difficult. What is your advise to what I need to file before the judge hears both our sides. Mine for the divorce I want and his from the annulment he is asking for. I filed the income and expense declaration and I have the assets and debts filled out as best that I can.
Thank you
Susan

Profile Picture of Brian Walker
Brian Walker

B. Stuart Walker, Esq. at Law Office of B. Stuart Walker

Hi Susan,
It really depends on the type of hearing. If it was set by the court, it is probably a status conference - where judge wants to determine where you are in completing the dissolution. Just about every court house in California offers free help to the public filling out forms etc. There is also help available from such sources as Legal Aid etc - if you meet their income guidelines.

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Brian Walker

B. Stuart Walker, Esq. at Law Office of B. Stuart Walker

He must meet the requirements for a void or voidable marriage in order to get an annulment. Being married and only seeing each other every two weeks is not grounds for an annulment. See below.

Void Marriage

A void marriage is invalid from its inception. This can be due to a failure to follow the procedures that are required by law (e.g. marriage license, solemnization, or blood test(if required)); or it can be due to bigamy or incest.
Voidable Marriage

A voidable marriage is valid until it is adjudged a nullity. The marriage can be ended by either divorce or annulment. Examples of voidable marriage include:

A nullity action commenced by the party who was a minor at the time of the marriage and was married without parental consent.
A marriage made in the belief that prior spouse or domestic partner was absent for five years and not known to be living.
A marriage where one of the parties was of unsound mind and unable to understand the contract and obligations accompanying the marriage of domestic partnership.
A marriage that one of the parties obtained by a fraud directly affecting the purpose of the deceived party in consenting to the marriage of domestic partnership.

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Susan Susan

Thank you for this information. All are very clear and do not apply to my marriage but the last one. (A marriage that one of the parties obtained by a fraud directly affecting the purpose of the deceived party in consenting to the marriage of domestic partnership) is not that clear to me. I don't know what my husband is going to say at our first hearing. Should I file something with the court like a brief summary and dates of what went on during our 7 year marriage?
Thank you
Susan

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sau.gopinath

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