Yuma, AZ – While most couples who are about to separate can simply file for a divorce, there are some exceptional situations where an annulment is the appropriate solution. Anyone who is considering a divorce in the state can briefly review the conditions for an annulment and see if any of them apply before proceeding. The couple can either file for an annulment jointly, or one party can petition the local family court to invalidate the marriage.
The definition of an annulment
The difference between a divorce and an annulment is that a divorce is a way to legally end a valid marriage, while an annulment ends a union that was never valid from the beginning for a few specific reasons. The legal effect of an annulment is that the couple is treated as if they were never married at all. Divorces do not deal with issues related to the validity of the marriage.
Reasons that a court may grant an annulment
The burden of proof for an annulment is on the party that petitions the family court. There are some very specific showings that must be made for an Arizona court to grant this kind of order to invalidate the marriage.
Certain close relatives cannot legally be married in the state, and proving that this applies to the couple would be grounds for an annulment. A forced marriage where one party did not actually consent or want to be married is another more common reason. Mental incapacity or an inability to consent to the marriage vows can also mean that the marriage was never valid.
Misrepresentation is also another reason for an annulment, as both spouses need various disclosures to be present and truthful in order to give informed consent to the marriage vows. There are also age requirements in Arizona’s laws for marriage. If the person was too young, their marriage was never valid.
One of the most common reasons for an annulment is that one or both spouses were still technically married because their prior marriage did not end properly through a valid divorce decree.
Benefits of annulments
A divorced spouse is not eligible for alimony or access to their partner’s property if the marriage is annulled. This can be beneficial to the filing party if they do not want to risk losing money or assets. Certain religions also frown upon divorce, and it is helpful for members of these communities to be treated as if they had never been married at all.
Divorce lawyers in Arizona
Schneider and Onofry are experienced in various family law issues. The firm serves people in the Yuma area with advice and representation related to divorces, child support, custody, and related matters.
Firm contact info:
207 W. 2nd St., Yuma AZ 85364