For a certain subsection of people, divorce isn’t the only way to get out of a marriage. Though it is less common, an annulment is a viable way to end a marriage; in fact, it is a way to essentially legal erase the marriage from all records. The proceedings and negotiations of divorce and annulments share many similarities that almost always require a Colorado Springs family law attorney, such as negotiating alimony, child custody, and property division. Should you seek an annulment instead of a divorce? Let’s take a look at the reasons for filing for an annulment.
An annulment, otherwise known as a declaration of invalidity of marriage, results in the government striking the marriage from all records and that it never existed once an annulment is granted. For most couples who find that the marriage is irreparable, they would choose to file for divorce, which the government recognizes existed after a divorce is granted. To obtain an annulment instead of a divorce, you must meet one of several conditions set forth by the courts:
- A spouse’s lack of mental capacity. If one of the partners in the marriage had a disability that hindered them from understanding the gravity of their actions and the consequences they bring, the marriage qualifies for an annulment since they could not reliably agree and consent.
- If one partner is/was impotent at the time of marriage and the other did not know prior, an annulment can be sought.
- If one spouse married as a joke, or if they were threatened to do so, the marriage is considered illegal as their intent was misaligned.
- If one spouse is already married and goes through the marriage process again, otherwise known as bigamy, or polygamy, the marriage is considered unlawful and an annulment can be reached.
In terms of child custody in the case of an annulment, though the marriage is considered to have never existed, under Colorado law, children are legitimate and a custody ruling must be reached. As in the cases with divorce, custody can be negotiated with the help of a Colorado Springs family law attorney so that both parents are able to see their child and help raise him or her.
A final note regarding annulment and divorce regards Colorado’s stance as a no-fault state. Because of this, one spouse does not need to prove that the other is to blame for the marriage falling apart and a divorce may be easier to attain than an annulment, especially with the niche conditions that need to be fulfilled; however, some seek an annulment for religious intent. If you want an annulment because of your religious preference, it is an avenue to pursue and you do not need to settle for an average divorce.
If you believe an annulment, or a divorce, are the best course of action for your irreparable marriage, visit our expert Colorado Springs family law attorneys to go over your options. Call us today for more information.