Understanding Annulment in Arizona

When you no longer wish to be married to your spouse, there are two options: divorce and annulment. While many people are familiar with what is involved with divorce, people are often not familiar with the particulars of annulment. Annulment is a dissolution of marriage that removes your marriage from the official record – as though it never existed at all. Divorce is the ending of a valid marriage and an annulment is the ending of a marriage that is recognized as having never been valid at all. But, while anyone can get a divorce, there are specific requirements that must be met to get an annulment.

Essentially, to obtain an annulment, you must be able to prove that there was never a valid marriage in the first place. In the state of Arizona, for example, you and your spouse will have to prove that you lived in Arizona for at least 90 days and then you must meet at least one of the pre-determined grounds for annulment. Many people assume that your marriage must have been short in order to get an annulment, but that is not necessarily the case.

In Arizona, your marriage can be any length as long as you can provide proof that there has been a fraud, mental illness, mental incapacity, bigamy, forced consent, one or both individuals was underage at the time of marriage, the marriage is between two close relatives, or there was an inability to consummate the marriage. Once a Petition for Annulment has been filed, you must complete all required forms before court proceedings can begin. When court proceedings begin, you must provide evidence that you meet the grounds for annulment to the judge. The judge will hear your case and then make a determination regarding your annulment. If you are not granted an annulment, you will need to pursue divorce to end your marriage.

How to get started in annulment?

People trying to get annulment first must file for an annulment and have a judge sign a Decree of Annulment. This point finalizes their case and sets off the subsequent steps that are involved in this proceeding. There are ways in which an annulment is granted.


When the defendants has been served with the summons but did not file any paperwork for 21 days, plaintiffs can enter a default with the help of the court and get a final decree. Plaintiffs need a short hearing before this step. Judges will handle these hearings before approving the final decree.


In some cases, both the parties will agree for an annulment on all terms. Then, they can prepare for a final decree of annulment with this full agreement. First, defendants will file an answer paper and both parties will sign the Decree of Annulment. They can proceed to get the approval of the judge without any preliminary hearings. This is way some annulments are filed in the state of Arizona.


When it is time for the judge to grant an annulment, they will issue an order to conduct a trial or hearing. However, the annulment is not finalized until the judge officially signs the agreement. Typically, one party will handle the decree preparations and pay for the filling papers.
What are the ways to get decree approved?

First, plaintiffs should file for a decree and submit it to the clerk’s office. They will approve the document and proceed to the next step. Then, plaintiffs must enter the date defendants were served the papers. They should respond within 21 days from the initial filing. Clerks may also note the date defendants are served with default forms.

After this step, plaintiffs can get a summary disposition request from the judge if they don’t want any hearing. The judge will review the request and approve the Decree without a hearing. If plaintiffs want a hearing, they should submit a summary disposition in support of affidavit. This form details the need for hearings to the judge.

If partners are married in the state of Arizona, they don’t need an affidavit of resident witness form. However, if the marriage took place in any other state, then, one partner should provide a resident witness form from that state. This form provides proof for residence in that particular state.

Lastly, one partner should serve a copy of the final decree to the other partner by filling a Notice of Entry of Order. This is the last in this annulment proceedings.

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