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Annulments in Arizona

Getting an annulment in Arizona is slightly different from a divorce. With an Arizona annulment, the court declares that the marriage is invalid or that it never existed. There are some legal and religious reasons why an annulment is preferable over a divorce. There is a misconception that annulments are always sought immediately after a marriage, but if the parties meet the requirement in the Arizona Revised Statutes, an annulment can take place any time after the marriage.

There are more legal requirements for an annulment than a divorce so typically it is easier to get a divorce. However some people would prefer the court record to show that the marriage never took place. Some of the most common reasons for an annulment in Arizona are:

  • Fraud or misrepresentation on the part of one or both spouses
  • Inability to consummate the marriage (ex: impotence)
  • Lack of mental capacity (ex: extreme old age, illness, or mental disability)
  • Parties were under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the ceremony
  • The spouses are closely related to each other (ex: first cousins)
  • One party is married to someone else (ex: bigamy)
  • One or both parties are underage and cannot legally enter into a marriage contract

Phoenix Annulment Lawyer

The Daly Law Firm represents clients who wish to pursue an annulment in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, or another Maricopa County community. If you have been served with divorce papers or you are contemplating a divorce, contact the Daly Law Firm for an analysis of your case. It might be better to seek an annulment under your circumstances. It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer about the differences and advantages of divorces and annulments in order for you to make an informed decision.


Annulment Information Center


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What is a voidable marriage?

A voidable marriage is different from a void marriage. With a voidable marriage the marriage is considered legally valid, however the parties have the opportunity to render the marriage invalid and seek an annulment. Common reasons for a marriage to be considered voidable under A.R.S § 25-301 are:

  • Bigamy (ex: undisclosed prior marriage)
  • Underage party (ex: marrying a minor)
  • Marriage between relatives (ex: cousins)
  • Lack of mental or physical capacity
  • Intoxication (lack of mental capacity)
  • Absence of a valid marriage license
  • Marriage due to threat or duress
  • Refusal to consummate the marriage
  • Fraud or misrepresentation of religion

Once these impediments to marriage are present, the parties can choose to annul the marriage or they can try to fix the problems and continue the marriage. For example with bigamy the person who has the prior marriage can divorce the person and then the present marriage would be intact. For marriage between relatives that are distant such as 3rd cousins then it is possible for the marriage to continue without it being automatically considered void.


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What is a void marriage?

Under Arizona law, A.R.S § 25-101 a marriage is considered void if the marriage takes place between the following parties:

  • Marriages between parents and children including grandparents and grandchildren of any degree.
  • Marriages between brothers and sister whether of whole blood or half blood or adoption.
  • Marriages between people of the same sex i.e. gay marriage.

By law these marriages are considered void which means that from the inception of the “marriage” it is not legally recognized. Generally there is no reason to seek an annulment because the state of Arizona never recognized that a marriage took place. Sometimes it is necessary to do an annulment proceeding concerning a void marriage to have it documented on the court record that an invalid marriage took place. There could be some legal benefit to making sure that there is an official record of the void marriage. You may review our Arizona Common Law Marriage page to find out more information regarding common law marriages.


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How do I get an annulment?

The same Arizona Superior Court that handles divorces also has the power to grant annulments. You will have to meet the same jurisdictional requirements in order for the Arizona court to have the authority to grant the annulment.

Legally an annulment proclaims that the marriage never took place, but if there are children and property acquired during the marriage, then the court will divide the property and award child custody and set up support.

At the end of the annulment the parties will return to the single statuses just as if they went through a divorce proceeding.


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Resources

Arizona Revised Statutes - contains the laws regarding marriage and family relationships in Arizona.


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Daly Law Firm, PLLC - Scottsdale Marriage Annulment Attorney

The Daly Law Firm represents clients going thorough annulments and divorces in the greater Phoenix area, including: Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Peoria, and surrounding areas of Maricopa County, Arizona. If you have been served with divorce papers or you are contemplating a divorce, contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Scottsdale at the Daly Law Firm by calling (480) 607-8308.