When you want to file for an annulment, you must file by a certain deadline – or statute of limitations.
Depending on the reason why you want an annulment, the deadline can vary. Here are the reasons you may ask for an annulment followed by the statutes of limitations.
Prior Existing Marriage or Domestic Partnership: As long as both parties to the current marriage/partnership are alive, an annulment can be filed by either party or by the prior existing spouse or domestic partner.
Age at Time of Marriage or Domestic Partnership: If a person under the age of 18 enters into a marriage or domestic partnership, he or she has to file for an annulment within 4 years after reaching age 18.
Fraud: Filing an annulment due to fraud must be filed within 4 years of discovering the fraud. Only the person who was deceived can file.
Force: If someone was forced to give consent for marriage or a domestic partnership, they can file as long as it is within 4 years of getting married or registering the domestic partnership.
Physical Incapacity: Filing an annulment for physical incapacity must occur within 4 years of getting married or registering the domestic partnership. Only the person claiming his or her spouse or domestic partner is physically incapacitated can file.
Unsound Mind: If someone wants to file an annulment because his or her spouse/domestic partner is of unsound mind, they must do so before the death of either party.
What if the statue of limitations runs out?
If the deadline for filing an annulment has passed, then you can no longer file for an annulment. To find out if other options are available, you can speak with a family law attorney. The Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) in San Diego County can refer you to a family lawyer for help. If you maintain a modest income, you may qualify for family-related legal help through our Modest Means Program.