Terminating Your Marriage Via Annulment
There are two ways to legally end a marriage; by divorce or by annulment. While a divorce is a legal process that will terminate a marriage, a declaration of invalidity, or an annulment, will erase the marriage. Annulment is a legal action that will treat the marriage it like it never happened; it declares that the marriage was not valid and never existed.
When to File for an Annulment
Filing for an annulment is most often initiated within several weeks or a few months after the marriage took place. This means that in most cases there is little or no property to divide and no reason to seek agreements regarding the allocation of parental responsibility.
The Legal Justifications to Annul a Marriage
There are situations where a newly married couple may prefer to terminate their marriage by filing for an annulment rather than ending their union through the more common means of filing for divorce. Sometimes divorce is the less desirable option for a newly married couple due to religious reasons, because some faiths do not allow for divorce. But while couples can file for divorce in Colorado for any reason, an annulment can only be granted if certain circumstances apply.
A couple can file for a divorce in Colorado for any reason. in fact, all 50 of the states in the U.S. now allow for no-fault divorces. Couples no longer must prove that they have valid reasons to end their marriage other than the fact that their union is irretrievably broken. Conversely, an annulment requires legal justifications. Legal grounds for an annulment in Colorado usually involve a decree of deception or extreme naivete.
Reasons the Court Will Declare a Marriage Null and Void
Before a Colorado court will declare a marriage null and void, one of the spouses must prove:
Bigamy – One party to the marriage was already married to another person at the time they married.
Forced Consent – One of the spouses was forced into marriage and/or entered into the union under duress
Fraud – One of the spouses agreed to the marriage based on the misrepresentation of the other party
Marriage Prohibited by Law – The marriage is prohibited by Colorado law because the spouses are related by blood.
Mental Illness – One of the spouses was mentally ill or emotionally disturbed at the time of the marriage
Mental Incapacity – Either spouse was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the marriage and was unable to make informed consent
Inability to Consummate Marriage – One of the spouses lacked the physical ability to consummate the marriage. At the time of the marriage, the other spouse did not know that their partner was incapable of having sexual intercourse.
Underage Marriage – One or both spouses were underage and not able to legally enter into marriage without the consent of a parent or guardian or approval by the court.
Elissa Bercovitz is a Highly Skilled Divorce Lawyer
If you are considering the annulment of your marriage, Elissa Bercovitz at the Bercovitz Law Firm can help. She has over 20 years of experience handling complex family law matters, and can handle your domestic relations case in a manner that combines sensitivity and strength. Elissa has a reputation for for her ability to successfully advocate for her clients’ best interests.
If you are seeking to divorce, or terminate your marriage by annulment, Elissa Bercovitz will meet with you to discuss your circumstances and your options according to Colorado law. Call Elissa Bercovitz today for a free consultation at 303 803 1678