Across the nation, an annulment is a court declaration that a marriage is null and void. Stated differently, according to the law, the marriage should never have occurred in the first place.
Under Arizona state law, there are two types of marriages that may be annulled. First, a marriage can be void, or never legal to begin with. Second, a marriage can be voidable, which means it was legally effective, but had some defect that allows the court to annul. No matter the type of marriage that is sought to be annulled, the law requires a higher standard of proof than a simple divorce. Additionally, Arizona Revised Statutes mandates that the evidence provided is substantiated.
Who Can Get An Annulment?
While not an exhaustive list, below are some scenarios of marriages that can be annulled under the law. This includes marriages:
- Between close relatives;
- Where one of the parties is under the age of 18;
- Wherein a party misrepresented his or her religious beliefs;
- When one of the parties is mentally incapacitated;
- Entered into as a result of duress, force, or fraudulent conduct;
- Where couple failed to obtain a proper and valid marriage license;
- Where one party is not divorced from a prior, still living, spouse;
- Wherein parties used a substitute instead of marrying one another directly;
- Where the ceremony was performed by someone without proper authority;
- Where the couple has not consummated the marriage, or one party refuses to be intimate;
- When one of the parties is unable to have sexual relations due to a physical disability.
In Arizona, annulment actions are heard in the state’s superior (trial) courts. Therefore, the paperwork must be filed at the local courthouse. An Arizona judge of the superior court can declare a marriage to be null and void and, consequently, annul it by way of court order. The party asking for the annulment – known as the “plaintiff” – files the petition while the other spouse – known as the “defendant” – files a response. Both parties will be summoned to appear in court to testify before the judge presiding over the matter.
Contact a Phoenix Annulment Lawyer
If you or someone you know has questions about annulling a marriage, contact a knowledgeable Phoenix Annulment Lawyer today find out the best option for you and your spouse under the law. The family law attorney at the Law Offices of Ronald L. Kossack has years of family law experience guiding clients in all types of family law matters including divorce, annulment, and child custody, among others. Schedule an initial consultation or calling (480) 345-2652 today.