How to Know if An Annulment is Right for You and Your Spouse

Divorce is not the only option for ending a marriage. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible to have the union legally annulled. Unlike divorce, an annulment effectively makes the legal statement that the marriage was invalid. Here are some of the grounds for annulment that are recognized in the state of Arizona and how to initiate the legal proceeding:

Acceptable Grounds annulment

As a family law attorney in Scottsdale will explain, Arizona’s laws provide several grounds for annulment. Many of them have to to with physical and mental capacity. For example, if one party is suffering from a mental illness, the other party may seek to have the marriage annulled. Should one party withhold information about a chronic physical condition, such as being physically incapable of consummating the marriage, the other spouse will have grounds to have the union voided.

Duress is also grounds for invalidating the marriage. This could involve using coercion to force someone into a marriage he or she did not want. A refusal to consummate the union may also be considered a form of duress.

Bigamy is recognized by the state as a reason to declare a marriage invalid. Other reasons include one party being under the age of consent, intoxication at the time the marriage took place, and the failure to obtain an official marriage license. If any of these circumstances apply, the innocent party can seek help from an attorney and file the documents necessary to annul the marriage.

How to Seek an Annulment

While current laws do allow individuals to file their own documents with the court, securing the services of a family law attorney in Scottsdale is the best approach. The attorney will file a petition for annulment at the local courthouse. Depending on the reasons for the petition, the court may require additional documents.

The defendant named in the petition has the opportunity to file a response. A hearing is set and both parties along with their legal counsels have the opportunity to speak with the judge. In the event the defendant does not respond to the petition, Arizona law allows for what is known as a default hearing that can happen 61 days after the filing of the original petition. In either situation, the judge will determine if an annulment will be granted or if filing for divorce is necessary.

If you believe there are grounds for annulment, contact The Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman today. After going over the specifics of your situation, it will be possible to determine the most practical way to end the marriage. Contact the office today to schedule your consultation.