Do You Qualify for an Annulment in Colorado?

Do You Qualify for an Annulment in Colorado?

There are two ways to legally end a marriage in Colorado – divorce or annulment. Annulment is a rare legal process, but it can be beneficial for those who qualify.

Many married couples assume that getting their marriage annulled is the easiest way to legally end their marriage. But in reality, being granted an annulment or declaration of invalidity, as it is called in Colorado, is no easy feat. Likewise, because of a no-fault divorce, getting a dissolution of marriage, commonly called divorce, is a much easier way to end a marriage. To know if you qualify, speak with an Aurora, Colorado annulment attorney.


What Does Annulment Mean in Marriage?

Annulment is a complex legal process that is often more challenging to navigate than a no-fault divorce under Colorado law. The major difference is that an annulment makes it so the marriage never legally happened in the first place, while a divorce simply legally ends a marriage. Some people wish to seek an annulment because they do not believe in divorce for religious purposes or to overturn legal issues they faced due to marriage, such as a loss of benefits.


Annulment vs Divorce: What is the Difference?

While divorce and annulment both end a marriage, they are actually very different from each other. With a divorce, a valid marriage will be terminated. But with an annulment, the marriage will be considered invalid and treated as if it did not actually happen at all.

Getting an annulment is difficult because it’s not enough to prove that the marriage has broken down, as is the reason for most divorces. Instead, those seeking an annulment should prove one of the below legal grounds for annulment.


Requirements for Annulment in Colorado

In a divorce case, you must simply show the marriage is broken, but to obtain an annulment, you must demonstrate that the marriage was legally invalid for a specific reason. Some reasons that might qualify for an annulment include:

  1. Issues with Consent: One spouse lacked the ability to agree or consent to the marriage because of a mental disorder or the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Filing the annulment petition must be made within six months of discovering that one spouse didn’t have the capacity to give their clear consent.
  2. Age: A spouse was a minor and didn’t have the court, parent, or guardian’s consent to get married. The petitioner must file for annulment within two years of entering the marriage.
  3. Consummate marriage: One spouse couldn’t consummate their marriage (have sex), and the other spouse was not aware of this when they got married. An annulment should be filed within a year after the petitioner discovers that the other spouse couldn’t consummate their marriage.
  4. Duress: Both or one spouse got married under duress. An example of this would be one party or a third party forcing or threatening the other party to get married. In this case, the action for annulment must be brought within six months of discovering the duress.
  5. Misrepresentation or Fraud: One spouse agreed to the marriage because of a fraudulent representation or act, like a lie from the other spouse, for instance, and this lie was the main reason or was central to the other party agreeing to get married. The petitioner must bring an annulment action within six months of discovering the other spouse’s fraudulent act.
  6. Illegality of the Marriage: One spouse was married to someone else at the time of the new marriage (bigamy, which is also a criminal offense), making the marriage void.
  7. Blood relatives: Colorado law prohibits marriage if spouses had a familial relationship that makes the marriage void.
  8. Dare or Joke: One spouse agreed to the marriage as a dare or joke. The petitioner must file the action for annulment within six months of discovering the dare or joke.

If none of the above apply to you, a divorce will be your option to end the marriage.


How Long After Marriage Can you File Annulment in Colorado?

You must file for an annulment within a certain time of when you learned of the reason for the annulment. For example:

  • Six months from learning of fraud, duress, jest, or lack of capacity.
  • 12 months from learning of the impotence of a spouse.
  • 24 months if the basis is underage marriage.
  • Anytime the marriage is void due to bigamy or incest.


Annulment Requirements: Do Both Parties have to Agree to an Annulment?

No, only one spouse must file for an annulment for it to be considered by the court. If you think you have reasons to file for an annulment, speak with a lawyer immediately.


Call a Skilled Aurora Colorado Annulment Attorney Today

To learn more about how annulment works in Colorado and if you qualify for it, please contact the CNL Law Firm, PLLC, at 720-370-2171 or online to arrange your consultation with our Colorado annulment attorney.

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