An Annulment is a way to have what you thought was a legal marriage declared invalid as if it never took place. This is different than a divorce, which is a decree issued by the court that terminates a legal marriage.
While there is no statute in Florida regarding annulments, the Florida Courts have recognized granting annulments under specific circumstances. Annulments are allowed in two situations: Void Marriages and Voidable Marriages.
A void marriage is a marriage between two people who are not allowed under the law to be married. An example would be a marriage between relatives (cousins, brother-sister, mother-son, father-daughter, aunt-nephew, uncle-niece), between same sex individuals and when one or both parties are married to someone else (bigamy) or where one individual lacked the capacity to consent to the marriage. In this situation, a formal annulment by the Court is not required, as the State of Florida does not recognize the marriage to begin with. However, in many of these cases it is often wise to get a formal declaration of annulment from the Court.
A voidable marriage is a marriage where one party’s consent was wrongfully obtained by force, duress, or fraud. In these cases, Florida allows the granting of an annulment only if the marriage has not been consummated (sexual intercourse after the wedding ceremony).