Rather than seeking dissolution of the marriage or domestic partnership, the parties may qualify for an annulment, also known in California as a Judgment of Nullity. Essentially, this wipes the slate clean as though the parties were never married or registered as domestic partners. In fact, the parties will be considered to never have been legally bound to one another.
To obtain a Judgment of Nullity, you must be able to prove one of the following:
1. You were not 18 at the time of the marriage or domestic partnership, and subsequent to becoming 18, you did not live as spouses or domestic partners.
2. One of the parties to the marriage or domestic partnership was married or a registered domestic partner to someone else,
3. One of the parties committed fraud upon the spouse or domestic partner, and this fraud was the basis for the marriage or domestic partnership,
4. Consent to the marriage or domestic partnership was obtained by force, or
5. The marriage or domestic partnership is incestuous, or
6. At the time of the marriage, one of the parties was physically incapable of entering into the marriage state.
There are several ways that fraud will be considered a basis for the marriage or domestic partnership. Some examples that courts have held in the past include: concealment of sterility, concealment of the intent to not engage in sexual relations with the spouse or domestic partner, concealment of the fact that the spouse only wished to obtain a green card and never intended to engage in sexual relations.
Unfortunately, courts have not generally held that the following acts rise to a level of fraud to nullify a marriage or domestic partnership: false representations regarding wealth and income, false representations regarding chastity and moral character, and concealment of a drug and/or alcohol problem.