The topic of conversation today with the Enholm Law, PLLC Phoenix Divorce Attorneys is an Overview of Annulments in Arizona. A divorce dissolves a marriage that is valid. In contrast, Arizona courts grant legal annulments when they find that fraud or circumstances surrounding the marriage made it impossible for the parties to enter into a legally binding marriage contract, or an obstacle exists that prevents the marriage from being valid. Therefore, the marriage never actually existed.
An annulment has a higher burden of proof than ending an existing marriage. Usually couples seeking an annulment have been married only a brief time. Contact the Enholm Law, PLLC Phoenix Divorce Attorneys today for a free consultation and see if you qualify for an Annulment in Arizona.
Why do parties seek annulments?
Most commonly, one or both spouses seek out Phoenix Divorce Attorneys to annul their marriage because of their religious faith. The Catholic Church believes the sanctity of marriage is lifelong until “death do us part”. Churches have their own requirements for religious annulments, and these may vary. Religious annulments void marriages so that one or both of the parties can remarry and have the subsequent marriage recognized by the church. However, church annulments are not recognized by Arizona as legal annulments.
In some instances, spouses may want to annul their marriage for financial reasons. Since the court recognizes that the marriage was never valid, courts strive to put each spouse in a financial position that mirrors how each individual entered the marriage. Nevertheless, there may be issues pertaining to debt, child care, and other monetary issues or concerns. However, long financial battles are less likely when a marriage is annulled.
Grounds and Conditions
The grounds and conditions that support an annulment focus on the ability of a spouse to freely consent to the union. Duress or incapacity to consent at the time of the union can be grounds for annulments. Discussing your circumstances with the compassionate, experienced Phoenix Divorce Attorneys at Enholm Law, PLLC is your best first step in this situation. Conditions that can create the inability to consent include:
- One or both parties is under 18 and did not obtain the proper legal consent
- Intoxication when marriage occurred
- Mental illness when marriage occurred that prevents consent
- Temporary insanity when marriage occurred
- Marriage under duress
A judge will also grant annulments when there are certain defects or obstacles that make the marriage invalid. In Arizona, void marriages include same sex marriages and incestuous marriages of close bloodlines. However, first cousins can marry with court approval if they are over 65.
Additionally, annulments are granted for fraud or misrepresentation, such as
- Failure to disclose incarceration or that he committed a crime
- Concealed communicable illness
- Unable or unwilling to consummate the union
Defects in the actual marriage ceremony, such as the absence of a valid marriage license, are also grounds for an annulment. Clergy, a judge, or another authorized individual must conduct a valid marriage ceremony. Contact our Phoenix Divorce Attorneys to see if any of these conditions apply to you.
Protect Your Rights
The major focus of the Enholm Law, PLLC Phoenix Divorce Attorneys who handle Annulments are to protect your rights and look out for your best interests. If you believe the conditions or circumstances of your marriage may provide grounds for an annulment, it is important to seek help from our experienced Phoenix Divorce Attorneys who know the proceedings and law for obtaining annulments in Arizona. Contact the knowledgeable, Phoenix Divorce Attorneys at Enholm Law, PLLC at 602-889-6273 to learn more about annulments and arrange a free consultation.