Chandler annulment attorney
Helping people in Gilbert, Mesa, and the rest of the Phoenix Valley with annulments and other family law matters
Annulments are not for everyone, nor are they available to everyone. But sometimes they can be a quicker, easier way to undo an accidental or sham marriage than going through a divorce. An experienced Chandler annulment attorney can help you decide whether an annulment is the best option for you.
What to do if your marriage was an “oops”
Getting an annulment—or a divorce for that matter—is much quicker when both you and your spouse admit you made a mistake by getting married or that you no longer want to be married to each other.
Only one of you can have your name listed as the person asking for the marriage to end. This person is called Petitioner. The other spouse is called Respondent. But it doesn’t matter who files. What matters is that if you agree on all the terms of the annulment, the process will be a lot faster.
Determining whether your marriage could be declared void
Although Arizona is a “no-fault” state when it comes to divorce, an annulment does require proving a legally acceptable reason that a marriage should be considered null and void, as if it never happened.
For example, either of the two following situations would be enough to automatically annul a marriage:
- Incest, that is, you and your spouse are related by blood
- Bigamy, that is, one party was already married to someone else when the wedding took place
Determining whether your marriage could be declared voidable
Other factors might not be a sure bet for getting an annulment but might be helpful in getting one. These include impaired capacity or incapacity to consent and/or mistake of fact. A common scenario is where one or both of the spouses were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the wedding. Because of this, a case can be made that they lacked the ability to consent to the marriage. Another common situation is where a spouse learns during the marriage that, at the time of the wedding, the other party was under the age of 18, mentally retarded, legally insane, or otherwise legally deficient to enter into marriage validly.
These scenarios are not magic bullets for getting an annulment. For example, the age-of-majority issue can be overcome by showing that there was parental consent to the marriage, the parties willingly cohabited together after both were of age, or the party who filed the annulment petition did so after turning 19. Likewise, a marriage to an “insane” person is valid if it the court deems it occurred during a “lucid interval.”
Other factors a judge might review in deciding whether to annul a marriage include:
- Fraud or duress, such as where the other spouse misled you about an important fact about himself or herself, or forced you into the marriage by threats of death or serious bodily harm.
- Impotence, that is, failure to consummate the marriage.