There are several requirements in order to properly annul a marriage in Arizona. These include:
- Before filling out a petition for annulment, maintain residency in the state of Arizona;
- If children are involved, seek out the help of an attorney because the same issues that arise in a divorce will occur during an annulment;
- Determine if your marriage is “void” or “voidable”;
- Have a disinterested party serve your spouse with a copy of the petition;
- Provide the court with proof of service;
- Wait for an answer from your spouse;
- While waiting for a court hearing, gather evidence that your marriage should be annulled;
- Attend the court hearing and follow all instructions given by the judge.
An Arizona annulment allows the court to make decisions on the separation just as if it were a divorce. This includes child support, custody, equitable distribution and payment of attorney and expert fees.
The Effect of an Annulment
It is a common concern for people that if their marriage is annulled the paternity of the children will be put into question. This is true – to an extent. This is because under the law, an annulled marriage means the union was invalid and any children born were birthed as if the parents were single. Arizona law, however, expressly stipulates that every child is a legitimate child of his or her natural parents. This means that the children are entitled to support and education as if born from a lawful marriage, providing all children the same protection as well as support no matter whether the parents are married, divorced, or never married at all. While this law does not have a bearing on parental rights, the courts have held that parents of Arizona children born out of wedlock have equal custody of the child or children once paternity is established.
Most children born outside of marriage in Arizona will likely be covered by a presumption of paternity. If an alleged father wishes to dispute this presumption, he will have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he is not the father.
We are here to help
If you or someone you know is interested in annulling a marriage, contact an experienced Scottsdale annulment lawyer today to find out the best option for you and your spouse under the law. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation by calling (480) 345-2652.