Often misunderstood, annulment is a legal action that determines the validity of a marriage. If a marriage is legally defective, it may be annulled rather than dissolved. However, changes to recent case law have dramatically altered the property rights established during a marriage later annulled. If you have questions about annulment or divorce, you should schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys to fully evaluate your options and all of your legal rights.

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Under Arizona law, family courts can “adjudge a marriage to be null and void when the cause alleged constitutes an impediment rendering the marriage void.” Basically this means that courts can invalidate or void legally defective marriages instead of divorcing the parties. Two of the most common grounds for annulment are defective consent (capacity) and material misrepresentation.

Parties who marry must be able and willing to consent to marriage. This means they must be of legal age and have the mental capacity to legally consent. The consent must be given free of undue influence, duress, or coercion. An example is intoxication. If a party is intoxicated, he or she may be unable to legally consent to marriage.

If one party relies on certain material information when deciding to marry, misrepresentation of this information may legally invalidate the marriage. In some states this may include misrepresentation of desire to have children, ability to have children, physical health, criminal history, and age, among others.

One of our firm’s ongoing missions is to simplify the law and make it easier to understand for those who are simply researching their options or trying to navigate family court without an attorney.

If you have questions about annulment or any other family law issue, contact us for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.


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