The provisions for the annulment of marriage in Arizona are found in Title 25, Chapter 3, Article 1 of the Arizona code. The statute for annulment of marriage in Arizona is succinct and establishes the ability of the court to declare a marriage void provided that certain grounds and conditions for an annulment are present. Similar to a divorce, the couple will still need to determine custody and the division of marital property accumulated during the marriage, as well as assign rights and responsibilities to other obligations, typically associated with the children. An annulment differs from a divorce in that it strikes out the marriage as a legal contract and removes it from existence. Therefore, the standard for an annulment of marriage in Arizona is high than that for a dissolution of marriage.
What are the grounds for an annulment of marriage?
There are a number of grounds that can be used for an annulment of marriage in Arizona, though there is also a high standard of proof involve and you will generally have to involve an attorney to secure the annulment on your behalf.
The grounds for an annulment of marriage in AZ include:
- Mental illness
- Temporary insanity at time of marriage
- Intoxication at time of marriage
- Underage marriage
- Unknowing infertility since the start of the marriage
How does mental illness allow for an annulment of marriage in AZ?
One can seek an annulment on the grounds of mental illness if and only if it can be proven that the mental illness was present at the time of marriage and that it takes away the ability of the spouse to consent to the marriage at that time. Mental illness that develops after the marriage will have to be subject to divorce. The temporary insanity grounds are related but difficult to prove, particularity since annulment of marriage in Arizona states that marriages made during a “lucid interval” cannot be annulled. There will have to be certifiable proof of confinement to a mental institution as well as other evidence that the party seeking the annulment was unaware of the condition at the time that led to the annulment.
Role of consent in determining an annulment of marriage in AZ
A critical factor in determining if a marriage can be annulled is consent. Much of the grounds for an annulment of marriage in Arizona imply that one party to the marriage could not consent to the union. This applies to both duress as well as state of mind and maturity in the case of underage marriage without parental approval. Intoxication too, would take away the ability to consent, but only if the party can prove that there was substantial intoxication at the time of the wedding ceremony.
Marriage to more than one spouse and annulment of marriage in AZ
Bigamy is grounds for an annulment of marriage in Arizona and all subsequent marriages after the first are annulled. This is regardless of if the arrangement was known or unknown to either spouse. The annulment of marriage in AZ is automatic and no further action be taken by either spouse when this comes to light. In order for a second marriage not to be subject to an automatic annulment of marriage in AZ, then the first marriage must be ended my divorce or the spouse must have been deceased. In the event that a deceased spouse is actually alive, you will work with state authorities to determine if this means that your current marriage is the subject of an annulment of marriage in AZ until the marriage to the first spouse is ended. You can expect notice if your first marriage ends with annulments of marriage in Arizona.
How do annulments of marriage in Arizona proceed?
In order to get annulments of marriage in Arizona, you will need to make your case to annulments of marriage in Arizona attorney that will evaluate your case. The annulments of marriage in Arizona attorney will determine if you meet the grounds for this process and will file the case as necessary. The judge offers the ruling on the annulments of marriage in Arizona and that will determine if the annulment proceeds. After the annulments of marriage in Arizona, items such as custody and other divisions will be determined.