The legal procedure for annulling a marriage is complicated because of the ancillary issues that are difficult for a layperson to understand. Time constraint is also a sticky issue, and failure to fit within the timeline can lock you out and deny you the chance to get the expected outcomes.

No matter how valid your case is, it will not be admissible in court if you do not bring it forward within the required time. Dedicated Orange County family law attorneys can notify you of how much time you have left and ensure that you don’t miss out on important deadlines.

What are the Timelines for Seeking Annulment in California?

Voiding a marriage in California through annulment has a strict timeline that must be adhered to, lest you miss out on your rights to file. The time limitations vary depending on the grounds you are using to file.

  • Minors. If one or both parties in the marriage were minors, they have four years to file. Counting begins when they turn 18.
  • Fraud. You have four years to file once you realize that the marriage was based on a hidden agenda. The discovery date is the day you find evidence of the ill intention.
  • Force. If you were forced to consent to the marriage, the four-year statute of limitation begins from the marriage date.
  • Physical inabilities. Spouses with partners that have been unable to consummate the marriage physically can annul the union within the first four years.

If you miss the timeline, your petition will be automatically rejected without a chance for a hearing. Speak to Newport Beach annulment attorneys to find out how much time you have left.

Which Types of Annulment Have an Extensive Time Limit?

Most types of voidable marriages have a time limit of four years to file. However, several kinds of marriages allow you to petition for annulment any time in the union, as long as your spouse is alive.


If you find out that your spouse entered into marriage with you while they were already married to someone else, there is no time limit for filing for an annulment. Either you or their first spouse can file the petition.

Unsound Mind

If either party was not of sound mind while entering the marriage, the marriage could be annulled at any time. Both spouses need to be alive at the time you decide to petition.

Married people that are uncertain on whether they are time-barred or not should consider seeking clarification from knowledgeable Newport Beach annulment attorneys.

What is the Procedure for Filing for an Annulment in California?

The process of filing for an annulment is similar to that of filing for a legal separation or divorce in California. It involves filling a petition form with appropriate information. It would be best to explain why you are filing for the annulment and the legal basis for the court to consider ending the marriage.

Mistakes in filing a petition can be costly for the applicant. Newport Beach annulment attorneys can ensure that the forms are filled appropriately. Remember to pay the filing fee. You will afterward be notified of the judge assigned to your case and the date and time for the hearing.

What Evidence Do I Need to Put Together Before the Timeframe Lapses?

The type of evidence needed for your case depends on the grounds you are using to file the annulment. Generally, some cases are more complicated than others. For instance, annulling a marriage between minors needs you only to present a birth certificate and the marriage documentation.

Claims of fraud, on the other hand, need more substantial evidence. For instance, the aggrieved spouse has to prove the other spouse’s intent to defraud them. The preponderance of evidence standard evidence is usually used to weigh the testimonies, documentaries, or both.

Do I Have to Wait for an Annulment Decree in Orange County?

Annulment cases are not subject to the six-month waiting period. They are handled differently from cases on the dissolution of marriage. There are no future trigger dates, as is the case for legal separation and divorce. The case ends as soon as the nullity judgment is reached.

Generally, an annulment would ideally take a much shorter time than other processes that end a marriage. So, if you think you qualify for an annulment, you might benefit from a relatively shortened process. Contact Newport Beach and Santa Ana annulment attorneys to begin before the time limit elapses.

Are All Judgements Given Through Trial in California?

When the judge is convinced that the marriage should be annulled, their way of annulling will depend on whether the other spouse responds, if you manage to agree on something, or if you get to trial. The final decree of annulment can come with or without trial.


You can get a default decree if the other party fails to respond to the court summons before 21 days. There might be a short hearing before the decree is agreed upon and approved by the judge.


If a couple reaches an agreement after filing a petition, you can prepare a decree that includes the agreement. The judge can approve the annulment without a hearing.

Trial or Hearing

If your spouse responds within 21 days, but you end up not agreeing, a decree might be issued after a hearing or trial. The judge issues orders that should be written by either party and signed by the judge.

Orange County Attorneys Helping Resolve Family Issues

Proving that you have a case that should be considered for annulment is extremely difficult. Your case is best pursued by an Orange County family attorney with experience in handling cases of similar nature.

An annulment lawyer can help you build an understanding of how your case will proceed. And at Sarieh Law Offices Alc., we will straightforwardly explain things and guide you throughout the case if you work with us. Kindly contact us to schedule a free consultation in Santa Ana or Newport Beach.