Annulment Legal Services in Arizona

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Annulment is the legal process by which a marriage that should not have occurred is legally undone. Annulment can also be called invalidation of a marriage, as once it has been approved and signed by a judge, it is as if the marriage never existed from a legal standpoint. There are a great number of reasons marriage may be annulled, known as grounds for annulment. If grounds are found for annulment, in the eyes of the law, it is as if the marriage never happened in the first place. The person’s legal status is returned to single, and they are considered never to have been legally married to their former spouse.

If you believe you entered a marriage that should never have occurred due to a legal concern, you can petition for annulment in Arizona. It is essential to ensure legal grounds for annulment exist. For help determining whether your marriage qualifies for annulment and assistance with completing the annulment through Arizona Family Court, turn to the professional divorce and annulment attorneys at The Valley Law Group.

Getting an Annulment In Arizona

To get an annulment of marriage in Arizona, you will first need to petition the court for an annulment. The judge will examine the situation and determine whether there is sufficient proof that you did not consent to the marriage or that the marriage should never have happened in the first place. You and your attorney must provide evidence that the marriage should be annulled for this reason, otherwise known as grounds for annulment. If sufficient grounds for annulment are found, the judge will then issue a court order that declares the marriage null and void.

Sufficient grounds for annulment may include marriages that should have been prohibited from the beginning, such as in cases of bigamy or incest. Grounds could also include marriages where one party or the other cannot give consent, suffers from mental illness, or is married under duress.

Annulment vs Divorce in Arizona

A divorce makes changes to people’s rights to marriage moving forward by dissolving a legal marriage. Unlike divorce, an annulment removes certain rights that were gained by people throughout the marriage by determining that the marriage never existed on a legal basis. More specifically, an annulment can retroactively change whether a person had the right to make certain decisions during a marriage, undoing certain contracts or decisions they made as spouses. This can apply to all matters where the marriage is relevant, including the right to make legal decisions for another person, taxes, inheritance, guardianship, and more.

These factors make an annulment a much more powerful legal tool than divorce in many ways. Divorce simply dissolves a marriage and dictates how the couple must move forward with the division of property and parenting time; it does not invalidate decisions made during the marriage. Since annulment completely invalidates the marriage, it may raise a plethora of secondary legal questions. This is especially the case for annulments of longer marriages, where years of choices must be reviewed and evaluated for their legality. That’s why it is so essential to secure the services of a knowledgeable annulment attorney.

Qualification for an Annulment in AZ

Qualification for an Annulment in AZ

Qualifications for annulment, also known as grounds for annulment, are very specific in Arizona. There must be a reason for invalidating the marriage, usually because one party could not give consent at the time of the marriage or because the marriage itself would have been illegal or prohibited.


A marriage can be considered null and void in cases where one or both parties are unable to consent to the marriage. In some cases, a party may not have been of sound mind to make legal choices for themselves at the time of the marriage. In others, one party may be rendered incapable of legal decision-making due to age.

Mental illness (at the time the marriage was entered into): When a person is deemed mentally ill and unable to make choices for themselves or a danger to themselves or others, they cannot legally enter into contracts with other people. Since marriage is considered a contract, any marriage entered into by a mentally ill person may be rendered null and void.

Anyone who is drunk, high, or otherwise intoxicated cannot legally consent to a contract. Marriages that take place when a person is extremely intoxicated and unable to consent can be annulled.

Children below the age of eighteen aren’t allowed to make legal decisions for themselves. In Arizona, teens aged sixteen or seventeen may marry with parental consent, while teens under sixteen may marry with parental consent and a signature of a Superior Court Judge. A marriage to an underage spouse without parental consent would be considered void.

Annulment may also apply to cases where consent was given under duress, or the lack of consent was ignored. These “forced” marriages, either through the threat or use of physical violence or the threat of legal or economic consequences if the spouse refuses to marry, are eligible for annulment.

Prohibited Marriages

The other class of marriages where annulment may be appropriate are marriages that should be legally prohibited from taking place. There are several reasons the law may have prohibitions against a marriage.

Blood Relation

Incestuous marriages are prohibited by state law for a few reasons. One is to prevent people from inbreeding, which results in higher rates of birth defects. Another reason is that incestuous relationships can result in one party being forced to consent to a marriage.

Since both of these can cause significant complications for all parties involved, the state de facto prohibits incestuous marriages between a parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, aunt/uncle and niece/nephew, full or half-siblings, and first cousins. A blood relationship of this nature between the spouses is the only situation resulting in an automatic annulment.


Arizona only allows a person to have one legal spouse at a time. Marrying more than one person is regarded as both a moral and a legal hazard for those involved. As such, engaging in bigamy, or marrying multiple people, is strictly prohibited by state law. This can be grounds to annul a marriage, even if it is due to an improperly filed divorce or a forgotten marriage.

Fraudulent Marriage

Deception or misrepresentation of one’s self, one’s finances, or one’s status can be grounds for annulment of a marriage. If someone doesn’t know whom they are marrying, they cannot make an informed choice about the marriage and cannot legally consent to it.

As such, fraud constitutes grounds for annulment. Similarly, if someone engages in a marriage only to obtain access to another person’s property or solely for another secondary motive (green card applications, etc.), this is also grounds to annul the marriage.

Inability To Consummate

Consummation means the actualization of marriage via the first act of sexual intercourse. Failure to consummate a marriage is considered grounds for an annulment. In other words, a marriage can be deemed null and void if one of the partners does not consummate the marriage due to the inability or refusal to do so. Either spouse can petition the court for an annulment if the other is unable to consummate the marriage.

Planning for Divorce in Arizona, A Free Guide

Steps to Marriage Annulment in Arizona

Fortunately, these grounds are usually discovered before too much time has passed in the marriage. This is helpful as it means that there is seldom the same difficulty in determining child custody and the division of assets that you may find in a divorce case. More specifically, less time transpired means that fewer assets were acquired, and if a marriage has been in place for an extremely short time, the likelihood that children are involved decreases.

If you find yourself in a situation to seek a near-term annulment, simplicity can serve you and your interests. The Arizona annulment attorneys at The Valley Law Group can help you deal with the matter swiftly so that you can return to your life with as little interruption as possible.

That being said, annulments can also occur after long periods of time together, as well. The longer the marriage has gone on, the more records you will have to go through and the more help you will need to make sure that every contract and agreement that you and your spouse engaged in during the course of the marriage is handled correctly.

In that case, it’s especially essential that you have experienced legal counsel on your side to ensure that the paperwork is carefully handled and that everything goes smoothly as you dissolve the marriage.

Annulment in Arizona FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions about annulment. If you have further questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us.

What is an Annulment?

An annulment is a legal procedure that declares a marriage null and void, as though it never happened. It is different from a divorce in that a divorce legally ends a valid marriage.

What are the Grounds for an Annulment in Arizona?

In Arizona, the grounds for annulment include fraud, bigamy, lack of consent due to mental incapacity or intoxication, underage marriage, and incest.

How Long Does the Annulment Process take?

The length of the annulment process varies depending on the specific circumstances of each case, but it typically takes several months to complete.

Do I Need an Attorney for an Annulment?

While it is possible to file for an annulment without an attorney, it is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel to ensure that your rights are protected and that your case is properly handled.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to techniques used to resolve legal disputes outside of the traditional court system, such as mediation or arbitration. ADR can be a more flexible and cost-effective way to resolve disputes.

What Sets your Firm Apart?

At our firm, we prioritize our clients’ needs and work closely with them to develop customized legal strategies that are tailored to their specific circumstances. We are committed to integrity and attention to detail, and have a successful track record of positive outcomes for our clients.

How do I get Started?

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started on the annulment process. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to guide you every step of the way.

Get a Marriage Annulled in Arizona

Get a Marriage Annulled in Arizona

The assistance of an experienced divorce and annulment lawyer familiar with Arizona Family Courts can mean the difference between a lengthy divorce trial and a positive outcome for your annulment case.

To learn more about our annulment services, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Our experienced Phoenix family law firm will review your case and deliver a personalized plan for your annulment that will help you plot the best course forward for your new life.

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Carmen Segura
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Wonderful experience knowledge and responsive. Elda and Jonathan were helpful and responsive to all my questions and concerns . I was going to so much stress Elda was great responding to my emails it never took more than 24 hours to get a respond from her. I highly recommend Elda and Jonathan to all my friends and family.
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Catherine Dolan
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Hannah Ridinger
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Dan Palmer
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Simply put, Ryan is outstanding! ! I’ve used his services exclusively for the last 6+ years on multiple custody and visitation cases. After having gone through three less than transparent attorneys before Ryan, it was incredibly refreshing when I found him. He’s courteous, responsive and the utmost professional. Best of all, I feel that I can trust his advice explicitly. A true rarity in this industry! Bottom line: I wouldn’t consider even having a conversation with another attorney!
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John Law
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Ryan did a good job especially considering I didn't have an attorney most of my divorce. I would recommend him, but get him onboard at the beginning not the end.
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