Getting a Marriage Annulled in Arizona

In Arizona, there are two ways to end a marriage: divorce and annulment.  When you end a marriage with divorce, you get what is technically known as a dissolution of your marriage and there are legal records of the marriage.  When you end a marriage with annulment in Arizona, it essentially removes the marriage from the record, as though it never existed.  An annulment is a statement that there were sufficient grounds that demonstrated that there was never a valid marriage.

What is Required When Filing for Annulment?

To petition the courts for a marriage annulment in Arizona, you or your spouse must have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days.  You must meet at least one of the pre-determined grounds for annulment in Arizona to file your petition for annulment.  A marriage of any length can be annulled as long as the necessary grounds are met.

What Must Be Demonstrated to Get an Annulment in Arizona?

Demonstrating that there was never a valid marriage is the key to acquiring an annulment.  These grounds could be fraud, mental illness, mental incapacity, bigamy, forced consent, one or both individuals were underage at the time of the marriage, marriage is between two close relatives, or inability to consummate marriage.

How Does the Arizona Annulment Process Work?

Once you have filed your Petition for Annulment in Arizona, the petitioner must provide additional copies.  You must then take 3 copies to the Arizona Superior Court and pay all necessary fees.  Next, if you are filing the forms, you must pay for a registered process server to serve your spouse with the annulment papers.  Then, court proceedings can be scheduled and begin.

Arizona Annulment Court Proceedings

During the court proceedings, evidence that you meet the grounds for an annulment must be demonstrated for a judge.  The judge will then review all information supplied and decide.  It is important to note that not all annulments are granted and if this is the case, you must then seek a divorce.  Arizona State Legislature explains what will happen if an annulment is granted, “If grounds for annulment exist, the court to the extent that it has jurisdiction to do so, shall divide the property of the parties and shall establish the rights and obligations of the parties with respect to any common or adopted children in accordance with the provisions of section 25-320 and chapter 4, article 1 of this title.”