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Feb 13, 2023

Can You Get an Annulment Without the Other Person in Arizona?

Getting a marriage annulled is perhaps the most misunderstood of all family law issues. Contrary.

Can You Get an Annulment Without the Other Person in Arizona?

Getting a marriage annulled is perhaps the most misunderstood of all family law issues. Contrary to what is often shown on television shows and in the movies, not everyone qualifies to get an annulment. Obtaining an annulment is vastly different from getting a divorce, even though both affect marital status. A divorce recognizes that a marital relationship exists and legally dissolves it. On the other hand, an annulment established that a marriage never existed because the arrangement was invalid. Below, our Arizona family lawyer explains further.

Can You Get an Annulment Without the Other Person in Arizona?

Like divorce, the other party does not have to agree to the annulment or participate in the process. Because the marriage never existed, the court can invalidate it without the consent of both parties. To obtain an annulment, one must have legal grounds. The grounds for obtaining an annulment in Arizona are as follows:

  • One of the parties was already married to another person,
  • The spouses are blood relatives,
  • One of the spouses was a minor at the time of marriage, and the parent or guardian did not consent,
  • One or both individuals did not have the mental or physical capacity to marry,
  • One or both individuals were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of marriage,
  • One or both parties did not intend to enter into a marriage contract,
  • An official marriage license was never obtained,
  • A proxy was used, and the two parties never married each other in person,
  • Fraud was used to obtain the consent of one of the parties to get married,
  • One party married the other because they were placed under duress or force,
  • The marriage was never consummated, or one individual refuses intercourse,
  • One person’s religion was misrepresented to the other,
  • Either party concealed their previous marital status, and
  • One of the parties had the intention of evading a premarital agreement

The Annulment Process in Arizona

The annulment process begins when one party submits the paperwork to their local courthouse. The annulment action is then heard in the trial court. An Arizona judge then has the authority to deem a marriage null and void and issue a court order to annul the arrangement. The person seeking the annulment, known as the plaintiff, files the petition for annulment. The other party, known as the defendant, is then given a chance to respond. The defendant can respond but may not if they do not consent to the annulment.

Many people worry that if the defendant does not respond, the annulment cannot proceed. Fortunately, this is not true. Like when getting a divorce in Arizona, plaintiffs can seek a default annulment if the defendant does not respond. A default judgment essentially grants the plaintiff the annulment without hearing from the other party.

Annulment and Parental Rights in Arizona

An annulment can have serious custodial implications, so it is always important to speak to an Arizona family lawyer before proceeding. Technically, an annulment can question the paternity of any children involved. In Arizona, a man is only presumed to be a child’s father if they were married to the mother at the time of birth. An annulment essentially voids a marriage, and the children born into the relationship are considered illegitimate. For the child to receive support and for fathers to obtain child custody or visitation, paternity must first be established before the father has parental rights.

Paternity can be established in several ways in Arizona. These include:

  • The mother and father were married during the ten months immediately preceding the birth, or the child was born within ten months after the marriage was needed by divorce, annulment, or death,
  • A genetic test confirmed a minimum of 95% probability of paternity,
  • The mother and father signed the birth certificate of a child born out of wedlock, or
  • Both parents signed a notarized or witnessed statement that acknowledges paternity.

Due to the factors above, paternity is usually presumed in annulment cases.

Call Our Family Lawyer in Arizona for Help With Your Annulment

If you got married and have proper grounds for an annulment, our Arizona family lawyer at Singular Law can advise on your case. Our seasoned attorney can help you through the annulment process and any other you may face afterward, such as establishing paternity. Call us at (480) 508-0886 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and learn more about the legal options available.

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