Annulment in Arizona: Same as Arizona Divorce?

Annulment in Arizona is distinctly different from divorce in Arizona. An annulment declares your marriage null and void, essentially seeming as though it never happened. A nullified marriage, in theory, is not valid in the first place, as it involves a legal impediment of some kind or something a spouse was unaware of before the marriage.

Consider the reasons for annulment in Arizona:
  • Mental illness/mentally challenged: If a spouse is mentally ill or mentally challenged, he or she is legally incapable of consent, and the marriage may be annulled.
  • Fraud: If one spouse lies in order to entice the other spouse into marriage, it may be annulled.
  • Lack of consent: If a spouse is forced into the marriage under threats of violence, it may be annulled.
  • Intoxication: If either spouse is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage, it may be annulled.
  • Inability to consummate the marriage: If the impotence of one spouse is unknown to the other spouse at the time of the marriage, it may be annulled.
  • Lack of parental consent for an underage marriage: If an underage person is married without court or parental approval, the marriage may be annulled.
  • A spouse is already married: A marriage entered into before an earlier marriage has ended may be annulled.
  • Incestuous marriage: If a marriage takes place between a child and a parent or certain other family members, it may be annulled.
  • Same-sex marriage: Same-sex marriages are not legal in Arizona, and thus they may be annulled.
  • Mock marriage: If a marriage takes place with no intention that it last or be binding, it may be annulled.

Each of these reasons is grounds for annulment, as the marriage was technically invalid at the start. After an annulment, the marriage is erased from the record entirely, as though you were never married. This makes annulment very different from divorce, especially regarding the rights of each spouse. If there are children involved, it's important to note that any offspring from the marriage are still considered legitimate.

If you are considering a divorce or annulment in Arizona, contact a friendly Phoenix divorce lawyer at 1-888-929-5292 today. We are experienced Maricopa County family lawyers who understand that each case is unique, and we look forward to building a relationship with you. If you'd like to know more about us and what we do, request a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law - How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.