Frequently Asked Questions about Annulment of Marriage in Alaska
What is an annulment of marriage in Alaska?
An annulment of marriage is a popular practice across the United States, similar to a divorce. The different is that whereas a divorce simply ends a marriage, declaring usually that the married couple has irreconcilable differences which their union can no longer survive, an annulment will declare that a marriage was never valid in the first place.
Annulment as a practice dates back for more than a thousand years of Christian history, to when the Catholic Church banned divorce so that the only way to end a marriage was by declaring it void. Today, annulment remains popular because it provides a cheaper and faster alternative to divorce for those couples who are eligible.
All that said, there is formally no such thing as annulment of marriage in Alaska. There’s simply no statute allowing anything called “annulment” in state law. Yet as long as there are marriages, there will be invalid ones, so practically speaking, a couple can get an annulment of marriage in Alaska, they just can’t technically call it that.
How do you qualify for an annulment of marriage in Alaska?
Only a small percentage of married couples will ever be eligible to apply for an annulment of marriage in Alaska since, thankfully, most marriages in the state are valid. Here are the various legitimate causes for an annulment of marriage in Alaska:
• Bigamy, which can just mean that one spouse has not been formally divorced from their previous spouse yet;
• Incest, which is defined as relations between two individuals who are more closely related to each other than third cousins, so that even second cousin marriage is unlawful;
• Underage, although an individual can be married at sixteen if they have their parent’s consent;
• Unsound mind, whether this means one spouse was suffering from a mental illness or from a state of intoxication;
• Coercion, which simply means that one person cannot threaten or force another one to marry them;
• Fraud, such as lying about your identity;
• Failure to have sexual relations or impotence.
If the married spouses continued to live together after reaching the age of consent, having their mental soundness return, learning of their spouse’s fraud, or having sexual relations, then the marriage is still considered valid and cannot end in an annulment of marriage in Alaska.
How will I file for an annulment of marriage in Alaska?
Since the state still does not consider there to be such a thing as an annulment of marriage in Alaska, the process for filing for an annulment is far from formalized. In fact, there aren’t even any forms or petitions which you can use to get an annulment of marriage in Alaska. Instead, you will essentially be forced to hire a family lawyer to petition the court for you.