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Colorado Springs Family Attorney: Annulment in Colorado

Thursday, 06 May 2010

blog-logoAnnulment isn’t something you hear about very often these days, but it can be a smart alternative to divorce when the situation permits.  As a Colorado Springs family attorney, I am often surprised how many couples ask about it when it is clearly not an option for them.  In legal terms, an annulment is called a “Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage”.

Here are some common misconceptions about annulment in Colorado:

Some people mistakenly believe that annulment is possible if their marriage was brief.  However, it is a relatively uncommon legal procedure. 

Many think an annulment would be simpler than a no-fault divorce, but in reality the two procedures are about equal.

A Colorado Springs family attorney can help you determine if an annulment is right for you, but you must first meet at least one of the following legal grounds:

• One spouse lacked the necessary mental capacity to have consented to the marriage. This is usually due to drugs, alcohol or mental incapacity. 
• One spouse was married below the legal age without consent from parents, guardians or an attorney. 
• One spouse was physically unable to consummate the marriage, and the other was unaware of this at the time of marriage.
• One spouse entered into the marriage by an act of fraud or misrepresentation of themselves, which impacted the “essence of the marriage”.
• One party married the other under duress, as a jest, or as a dare.
• The marriage became void due to bigamy, polygamy or incest.

Another major stipulation for a Colorado annulment is the timing.  The annulment must be initiated within six months of the other party learning of fraud, jest/dare, duress or mental incapacity, within 12 months of learning that the other spouse cannot consummate the marriage and within 24 months if the marriage is the spouse is under the age of consent.  However, with a voided marriage due to bigamy, polygamy or incest, the marriage can be annulled at any time prior to the spouse’s death. 

A Colorado Springs family attorney can help you determine if your marriage is eligible for annulment, and file the appropriate paperwork to start the  process.

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