Annulment Versus a Divorce in Arizona
Many people ask about the difference between an annulment versus a divorce in Arizona. A divorce is the dissolution of the marital status between two legally married spouses.
In a divorce case, the Arizona court will enter a judgment rendering each party a single person, will divide the parties’ debts and assets, will issue child custody and support orders and, in some cases, may award alimony.
An annulment in Arizona, in contrast to a divorce, nullifies the marriage as if the marriage had never taken place. Arizona Revised Statute Section 25-101 prohibits some marriages in Arizona. Specifically, that statute provides that a marriage between the following people are void and prohibited under Arizona law:
- Marriages between parents and their children
- Marriages between grandparents and their grandchildren
- Marriages between brothers and sisters
- Marriages between uncles and nieces
- Marriages between aunts and nephews
- Marriages between first cousins, except if one of the cousins is over the age of 65 one of the cousins is unable to bear children and a Judge from the Superior Court approves the marriage before the marriage occur;
Difference Between an Annulment and a Divorce in Arizona
There are also reasons that, although not rendering the marriage legally void, may allow the court discretion to make the marriage voidable for purposes of entering an annulment of the marriage as opposed to a divorce.
The Arizona Court of Appeals has upheld a trial judge’s decision to declare an otherwise legal marriage voidable and, hence, grant an annulment declaring the marriage void. Some such examples occurred in the case of Medlin v. Medlin.
The Arizona Court of Appeals in Medlin held that marriage is similar to a contract requiring both parties to have the mental capacity to understand the contract before entering into the contract such that a spouse who was incapable of understanding the nature of the quasi-contractual agreement to marry may have the marriage annulled as opposed to granting a divorce.
The Arizona Supreme Court in the case of Jackson v. Industrial Commission held that false representations of love and affection coupled with a fraudulent intent to deprive the other spouse of his or her property provided a sufficient basis to annul the marriage in Arizona. In yet another Arizona Court of Appeals decision in the case of State Compensation Fund vs. Foughty and Industrial Commission.
The court of appeals held that a person with deeply held religious convictions who marries a person she believed to share the same religious beliefs could have her marriage annulled, as opposed to a divorce, because there was an absence of a meeting of the minds regarding their religious views and practices.
The Arizona Supreme Court has gone as far as to hold in the case of Southern Pacific C). vs. Industrial Commission that an annulment of a void or voidable marriage is permissible even if the same facts would provide a basis for a dissolution of the marriage.
The trial court still has the power to divide the parties’ assets and debts and to issue child custody and child support orders if the marriage if the court annuls the marriage, according to Arizona Revised Statute Section 25-302.
Cost of Obtaining an Annulment of Marriage Versus a Divorce in Arizona
The cost of getting an annulment in Arizona is not significantly different than the cost of getting a divorce in Arizona. The reason is that in both an annulment and a divorce the court has to divide the parties’ debts, assets, issues orders concerning the care of the children, and determine the subject of child support. Another difference is that the court can award alimony (i.e., “spousal maintenance”) to a spouse in a divorce, but may not award alimony to a spouse if the court annuls the marriage.
The only exception to the idea that the costs of an annulment and a divorce are very similar surrounds the additional time it will take your attorney to prove that a basis exists for an annulment. A divorce, in contrast, can be entered by a judge simply by one spouse testifying the marriage is irretrievably broken.
To establish the foundation for an annulment, the party seeking the annulment must prove the marriage was void, to begin with, or is voidable due to, for example, fraudulent inducement to enter into the marriage.
Length of Marriage for an Annulment Versus a Divorce in Arizona
There is no specific time limit to be married to obtain an annulment in Arizona. However, you do have to act promptly once you become aware of the basis for the annulment. Failure to seek an annulment after having had knowledge of the basis of the annulment could result in the court finding you ratified the otherwise voidable marriage by staying in the marriage. Void marriages, on the other hand, which are prohibited by law are voidable at any time.
If you have questions about annulment versus divorce in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona divorce and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in annulment, divorce, and family law cases.
Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.
Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your Arizona annulment, divorce or other family law case around today.
More Articles About Divorce in Arizona
- The advantage of Filing Divorce First in Arizona
- Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable in Arizona
- Arizona Divorce
- Arizona Divorce Attorney Reviews
- Arizona Divorce Child Custody
- Arizona Divorce Debt
- Arizona Divorce Forms
- Arizona Divorce Laws
- Arizona Divorce Laws Alimony
- Arizona Divorce Laws and Statutes
- Arizona Divorce Laws on Adultery
- Arizona Divorce Papers
- Arizona Divorce Practice
- Arizona Divorce Process
- Arizona Divorce Records Search
- Arizona Marriage Laws
- Asset and Property Search in an Arizona Divorce
- Arizona Divorce When You Can’t Find Your Spouse
- Change to Maiden Name After Divorce in Arizona
- Changing Orders in an Arizona Divorce Decree
- Children and Divorce in Arizona
- College Expenses After Divorce in Arizona
- Complex Divorce Cases in Arizona
- Conciliation Court Services in Arizona
- Consent Required for Marriage of Minors in Arizona
- Considering the Children during a Divorce in Arizona
- Convert to a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- Coping With Divorce in Arizona
- Court Services to Save a Marriage in Arizona
- Custody of the Family Pet in a Divorce in Arizona
- Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona
- Divorce After Legal Separation in Arizona
- Divorce and Children in Arizona
- Divorce Arizona
- Divorce Case is on the Inactive Calendar in Arizona
- Divorce Court Jurisdiction in Arizona
- Divorce in Arizona Without Children
- Divorce Procedures in Arizona
- Divorce Records in Arizona
- Divorce Statistics in Arizona
- Divorce Support Groups in Arizona
- Domestic Violence and Divorce in Arizona
- Effect of Adultery on an Arizona Divorce
- Effects of Divorce on Children in Arizona
- Enforceable Arizona Prenuptial Agreements
- Failure to Include an Issue in an Arizona Divorce
- Filing for Divorce in Arizona
- Filing for Divorce to Receive Alimony in Arizona
- Guide to Divorce for Men in Arizona
- High Asset Divorce in Arizona
- High Conflict Divorce in Arizona
- High Net Worth Divorce Arizona
- How is a Divorce Finalized in Arizona
- How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in Arizona
- How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Arizona
- How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced in Arizona
- How Long Does Uncontested Divorce Take in Arizona
- How Long To Be Separated Before Divorce in Arizona
- How long to get Temporary Orders in Arizona
- How Much Does it Cost to Get a Divorce in Arizona
- How to Appeal a Divorce Decree in Arizona
- How To Find Good Divorce Attorney in Arizona
- How to Start a Divorce in Arizona
- Learn About Uncontested Divorce in Arizona
- Legally Separated File Divorce in Arizona
- Marital Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- The merger of the Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- Military Divorce Laws in Arizona
- Misled Into Signing Divorce Settlement in Arizona
- Modifying a Divorce Decree in Arizona
- No Contest Divorce in Arizona
- No-Fault Divorce in Arizona
- Order to Pay Spouses Attorney Fees in Arizona
- Parenting Class During a Divorce in Arizona
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona
- Protect Children in a Divorce in Arizona
- Quick Divorce in Arizona
- Reasons for Divorce in Arizona
- Reasons to File for Divorce in Arizona
- Represent Yourself in Arizona Divorce Case
- Same-Sex Divorce in Arizona
- Sealing Court Records in an Arizona Divorce
- Sell Home During Divorce in Arizona
- Selling Property During a Divorce in Arizona
- Served With Divorce Papers in Arizona
- Serving Divorce Papers by Publication in Arizona
- Should I Keep the House in a Divorce in Arizona
- Social Media Evidence in Divorce in Arizona
- Stop an Arizona Divorce
- Stop an Arizona Divorce if You Change Your Mind
- What Happens at a Resolution Management Conference in Arizona
- What Happens If the Divorce Case Goes to Trial in Arizona
- What Happens Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
- What is a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- What is a Default Divorce in Arizona
- What is a Family Law Master in an Arizona Divorce Case
- What is a Preliminary Injunction in an Arizona Divorce
- What is a Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
- What is the Divorce Process in Arizona
- What Reasons Do I Need to Obtain a Divorce in a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- What to do When Served with Divorce Papers in Arizona
- When Can I File For Divorce in Arizona
Chris Hildebrand wrote the information on this page about annulment versus divorce in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about family law in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and, quite frankly, actually caring about what his clients are going through in a divorce or family law case. In short, his practice is defined by the success of his clients. He also manages all of the other attorneys at his firm to make sure the outcomes in their clients’ cases are successful as well.
As Seen on CBS News, ABC News, NBC News, and Fox News