If you got married but later decided that you didn’t want to stay with your spouse, you may have two options. The first would be to go through an annulment, and the second would be to go through divorce.
Not everyone can seek an annulment, but if your marriage meets the requirements, it’s something to consider. While both a divorce and an annulment will technically end your marriage, an annulment makes it so that, legally, your marriage appears to have never happened.
An annulment declares your marriage invalid
Unlike a divorce, which is the legal end of your marriage, an annulment states that your marriage was legally invalid. Annulments essentially nullify marriages, making it so that they were never legitimate to begin with.
Why would you get an annulment?
You may opt for an annulment if:
- Your spouse was married to another person at the time of your marriage, which makes your marriage void
- You were underage when you got married and had no parental consent
- You or your spouse lacked the mental capacity to make the decision to marry
- You find out after marriage that your spouse is impotent
- You and your spouse are too closely related to be married
- Your spouse misrepresented or lied about something important to your union, such as hiding excessive debts
If you believe that you would like to get an annulment, it’s important to gather evidence that will support your request. If you cannot get the right supporting evidence for an annulment, the other option is to pursue a divorce.
What should you know about an annulment in Arizona?
You and your spouse can’t just decide that an annulment is the right choice for you. You will need to go to court and have the judge independently determine that your marriage is invalid. Whichever spouse petitions for the annulment will need to prove statutory grounds, like impotence, incest or intoxication, before a judge will consider allowing an annulment to proceed.
In court, you’ll receive a civil annulment, which is not the same as a religious annulment. You may need to complete both to have a church recognize that you and your spouse are no longer married.