Annulment in Arizona

Divorce Papers » Annulment in Arizona

Annulment in Arizona is a legal decree implying that the marriage was never valid to begin with. A true marriage never existed and thus is null and void.

There are two types of marriages eligible for an annulment. These are as follows:

  1. Void Marriage - A void marriage is the one which is invalid right from its inception. The conditions such as bigamy, lack of free consent render it invalid, null and thus void.

  2. Voidable marriage - A marriage which is valid until its nullification is known as a voidable marriage. The conditions such as unwitting consanguinity, being under influence make it voidable due to the lack of discretion.

The annulment laws in Arizona are complex and thus you need to hire a professional lawyer to process the petition for an annulment. It is rare and thus, hard to get as compared to divorce. The state declares a marriage null and void through a court order which is known a 'Decree of Annulment'.

Grounds for Annulment in Arizona:

The statute of Arizona specifies some grounds on which one can file for an annulment in Arizona. These grounds are applicable for both void and voidable marriages. These grounds are as follows:

  • Mental Instability - If a spouse is diagnosed with a mental illness shortly after the marriage took place, the other partner can file for an annulment as mental illness is something which does not affect an individual overnight. Besides, mental illness renders an individual unreasonable and violent at times. If the spouse is unable to provide and take care of the family due to this illness, affecting the normal functioning of a household, the annulment can be granted on the grounds of mental instability.

  • Temporary Insanity - The marriage can be annulled on the basis of temporary insanity on part of the respondent. If a partner has the bouts or attacks of insane behavior, the other spouse can file a petition for annulment.

    However, the marriage cannot be annulled if conducted in a state when the temporarily insane spouse is fully aware of the situation and has consented to wedlock on a free will.

  • Duress - If either or both the spouses are forced to enter the wedlock with threats, constraints, duress or violence against their free will or better judgment, the marriage is considered void as it lacks the basic free consent to enter the wedlock.

    However, the actions of force or duress need to be proved in front of the judge so as to facilitate the judgment passing the declaration of nullity.

  • Fraud - If the wedlock is performed under fraud such as concealment of important issues in one's life such as children of previous marriage, support payments from previous divorce decree, source of income, actual income or anything that might seriously hamper the marital relationship of the couple.

    This fraud may also include hiding the previous imprisonment or conviction of felony or any other criminal charges that may be leveled against the individual.

  • Lack of Consent - If the husband and wife were under the influence of alcohol or drugs or got married due to reasons such as teen pregnancy and were not mature enough though being of age while marrying, such marriages are void as they lack the consent of both the parties and hence can be annulled on the grounds of lack of consent. An underage marriage which is carried out without the necessary parental consent is also considered as void and annulment can be granted.

  • Incest - Incestuous marriages are void and can be annulled immediately on the grounds of consanguinity. It is illegal to marry the parent, grandparent, or any relation which is full or half blood including the niece or nephew or step-relations which are by marriage relations.

    As the marriage is illegal according to the state laws of the USA, it can be annulled on the grounds of incest though the relationship is legitimate.

  • Same-sex Marriage - The state of Arizona does not recognize the same sex marriages. Thus, if one of the spouses file for an annulment, it is granted immediately on the grounds of same sex marriage being void from its beginning.

    Even if the marriage is conducted according to the religious rites and the certificate is signed by both the spouses, it is invalid as it is declared illegitimate by the statute of Arizona.

  • Mock Marriage - If the couple enters a wedlock just for the sake of legitimizing the children or any other purpose where they need to prove that they are a legitimate couple, say for insurance coverage or any tax benefits, such marriage is considered as a mock marriage and the annulment is granted on the base that the marriage was 'mock', thus void in its wake.

  • Inability to Consummate - If a marriage hasn't been consummated since it took place, such marriage is considered as voidable as it seriously undermines the base of a marital relation: to procreate. The reasons due to which the marriage is not consummated could vary from physical inability, terminal illness, or any other reasons. An annulment can be easily granted due to such reasons which render a person incapable to consummate the marriage.

  • Bigamous Marriage - If a person is already married to someone else while entering the current wedlock, it is considered as a bigamous marriage and is thus illegal, invalid and null and void right from its inception. However, if the previous non-divorce spouse is considered dead or not known to be alive, the previous marriage can be annulled and the current marriage is retained.

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