Posts

Annulment Laws in Arizona

Having your marriage annulled is not the same as getting a divorce. A divorce ends a valid marriage while an annulment states that the marriage was never valid and, therefore, never existed. Annulments are not favored in Arizona and the case may be dismissed if there are no grounds for an annulment. While annulments are harder to get in Arizona than a divorce, they are not impossible.

There are several valid reasons for requesting an annulment: underage marriage, mental illness, bigamy, fraud, temporary insanity at the time of marriage, intoxication at the time of marriage, incest, duress, or one or both parties failed to consummate the marriage. While this list is not complete, these are the most common grounds for an annulment. Once the reason for annulment has been identified, it is recommended to utilize the resources of a family lawyer, like those at The Sampair Group, in order to properly complete the process.

Paperwork will need to be filed at your local courthouse before an annulment can continue. Your family lawyer will be able to help you correctly fill it out. A judge of the superior court will then review the case to decide if the reason for an annulment is valid. If it is, the marriage is then null and void. However, if the judge decides against an annulment, it’s not the end of the road. The party asking for the annulment can file a petition. Both parties will be summoned to court where testimonies will be heard in order to come to a conclusion.

Often, people think an annulment brings their paternity into question. In the eyes of the court, the child or children are seen as being born to two single parents if the marriage is annulled. Under Arizona law, the courts have decided that parents of children who are born outside of marriage have co-equal custody following the established paternity.

If you find yourself considering an annulment, the family lawyers at The Sampair Group can help. Any legal matter can be confusing and we would like to help you to better understand the annulment process. Visit www.sampair.com today for a free consultation.

How Is Annulment Different From Divorce?

Marriages can end in a number of ways; a spouse may die, the parties might decide to get divorced, a legal separation (while not a complete end to the marriage) might be the answer for you, or an annulment might be granted. The legal mechanism you decide on to end your marriage will have certain consequences, and the results are not the same for every case. For instance, in a legal separation the parties remain married but do not live together. In a divorce, an order is entered decreeing the parties to no longer be husband and wife; and, with an annulment the marriage is considered to have never even taken place. Most annulments are sought for religious reasons, but there may be certain financial or emotional advantages to having your marriage annulled rather than filing for divorce. It is important to understand how divorce and annulment are different, so you can make a choice that meets your needs.

divorce is a legal proceeding to dissolve a marriage. The end result is that the parties are no longer spouses, but the law considers that at one time a valid spousal relationship existed. This is different from an annulment as follows:

  • An annulment is a declaration that the parties were never married. There is no final decree stating the couple is no longer married, the final result is that the pair were never legally considered spouses. Obtaining this type of order is important in certain religions, especially if a wedding to another person is in the future.
  • In order to obtain an annulment, certain conditions must first be met. Some examples are that the marriage was entered into through coercion or duress, or that one of the parties to the marriage worked some fraud on the other. Common examples of this type of fraud include a desire to have children, or even the ability to do so.

What all of this means is that there is a stricter standard for seeking an annulment than there is for asking for a divorce. In order to find out if you qualify, and if an annulment will yield the results you are after, call our office.

For more information about how to get an annulment, call us today. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.

Annulment vs. Divorce (Part 1)

Both divorce and annulments are valid ways to dissolve a marriage, but there are many differences between the two. In this post, family law attorneys at The Sampair Group inform clients on the basics of annulment and the process to receiving one.

The definition of annulment is stated as an agreement that nullifies a marriage and disavows its existence, returning both parties to their prior single status as if they were never married. This agreement cannot be reached through mutual discussion, as the court must legally grant an annulment.

In order to validate the need for annulment, one of the parties in the marriage must show that there was an obstruction to the validity of the marriage at the time it was made official. Annulments usually take place after a few weeks or months of marriage, but can happen after longer periods of time.

In Arizona, there are several circumstances which would allow for an annulment and make a marriage invalid:

Void Marriage
A void marriage is considered invalid from its beginning. The reasons for a void marriage could be:

  • There is blood relation between spouses
  • The marriage is between two people of the same sex

Voidable Marriage
A voidable marriage remains valid until one spouse chooses to legally annul the marriage. In order for the annulment to be established, the court must confirm that at least one of the following factors applied to the marriage that would make it invalid:

  • A prior marriage was still in effect
  • One spouse was underage
  • Fraud and/or misrepresentation of religion
  • Inability to consummate the marriage
  • No valid license for the marriage exists
  • One spouse was coerced or threatened into the agreement
  • One spouse has concealed a criminal past or communicable disease
  • Lack of mental or physical capacity
  • Other grounds that are found by the court to be valid reasons for annulment

To begin this process, contact an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer at The Sampair Group to get assistance in obtaining a petition and determining the legal ground for your desired annulment.

Legal vs. Religious Annulment
After an annulment is granted, the couple can then request a religious annulment if needed. This will allow for one or both people to remarry within a church or anyone else, and have this second union recognized by the church. The grounds for religious annulments differ from civil annulment guidelines, and are different within each church.

If you are seeking a divorce or annulment and need legal advice, the experienced divorce attorneys at The Sampair Group can represent you. Schedule a free initial consultation with a divorce lawyer in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley today.

Divorce, Annulment, and Taxes

Very few people seek annulments when a marriage ends. It is most common to simply file for divorce. An annulment is a legal determination that the marriage never legally existed and is often based on fraud, an underage spouse, a close family relationship between the spouse, an inability to consummate the marriage, lack of mental capacity, or already being married to someone else. Some people file for annulment believing it will assist in a religious annulment. Others file because they believe they were married under false pretenses. There is now a new reason to consider an annulment: taxes.

An IRS ruling has held that if an annulment is retroactive (applying back to the date of marriage), the couple was never legally married and thus were not eligible to file joint tax returns. This can be an important distinction, because it allows the couple to refile taxes for the years of their marriage as single people. This may result in a tax benefit and savings.

Note that refiling your taxes for the years you were married could be expensive, particularly if you need to hire a tax preparer or accountant to do so on your behalf. You may also no longer have the needed documentation available. However, the savings could override the cost.

Before you jump into seeking an annulment instead of a divorce, take the time to discuss the differences with your attorney. It is actually very difficult to qualify for an annulment, whereas any couple can get a divorce. You should also discuss whether there are in fact any tax benefits with your tax preparer or financial advisor before you make a decision based on this.

Call the Sampair Group for experienced assistance with divorce, annulment and their tax implications in Maricopa County. Our attorneys are ready to discuss your case and your options with you.

 

 

What’s The Difference Between An Annulment And A Divorce?

The most common way to end a marriage is through divorce. But another method exists, and is being used more and more frequently. In some instances the decision to seek an annulment is preferable to divorce. The reasons for wanting an annulment vary from couple to couple and person to person, with the most popular reasons being based on religious beliefs or health insurance coverage matters. While the end result is that the relationship is over, the legal consequences are very different. With a divorce, the parties are simply no longer married. With an annulment though the law treats the marriage as if it never existed.

In order to qualify for an annulment in Arizona, you must present the court with the grounds for the annulment. Common grounds include:

●      Mental instability of one of the parties.

●      Evidence that the marriage was entered into under duress or coercion.

●      The existence of fraud by one of the parties, about one of the legitimate aims of marriage (such as the ability to have kids).

●      Intoxication at the time of entry into the marriage.

Even though an annulment will result in the legal determination that the marriage never took place, many of the same issues must be decided as with a divorce. The parties still must come up with a custody plan and divide their assets and liabilities. To make sure your interests are protected when getting an annulment by partnering with a skilled family law attorney. We work with you to develop a strategy that is tailored to your needs and likely to reach satisfactory results. Call us today to find out more and to learn if you qualify for an annulment.

For more information about the differences between an annulment and a divorce, call a trained legal professional. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call the Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.

What’s The Difference Between An Annulment And A Divorce?

The most common way to end a marriage is through divorce. But another method exists, and is being used more and more frequently. In some instances the decision to seek an annulment is preferable to divorce. The reasons for wanting an annulment vary from couple to couple and person to person, with the most popular reasons being based on religious beliefs or health insurance coverage matters. While the end result is that the relationship is over, the legal consequences are very different. With a divorce, the parties are simply no longer married. With an annulment though the law treats the marriage as if it never existed.

In order to qualify for an annulment in Arizona, you must present the court with the grounds for the annulment. Common grounds include:

  • Mental instability of one of the parties.
  • Evidence that the marriage was entered into under duress or coercion.

 

  • The existence of fraud by one of the parties, about one of the legitimate aims of marriage (such as the ability to have kids).

 

  • Intoxication at the time of entry into the marriage.

Even though an annulment will result in the legal determination that the marriage never took place, many of the same issues must be decided as with a divorce. The parties still must come up with a custody plan and divide their assets and liabilities. To make sure your interests are protected when getting an annulment by partnering with a skilled family law attorney. We work with you to develop a strategy that is tailored to your needs and likely to reach satisfactory results. Call us today to find out more and to learn if you qualify for an annulment.

For more information about the differences between an annulment and a divorce, call a trained legal professional. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call the Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.

Divorce, Annulment, and Taxes

Very few people seek annulments when a marriage ends. It is most common to simply file for divorce. An annulment is a legal determination that the marriage never legally existed and is often based on fraud, an underage spouse, a close family relationship between the spouse, an inability to consummate the marriage, lack of mental capacity, or already being married to someone else.

Some people file for annulment believing it will assist in a religious annulment. Others file because they believe they were married under false pretenses. There is now a new reason to consider an annulment: taxes.

An IRS ruling has held that if an annulment is retroactive (applying back to the date of marriage), the couple was never legally married and thus were not eligible to file joint tax returns. This can be an important distinction, because it allows the couple to refile taxes for the years of their marriage as single people. This may result in a tax benefit and savings.

Note that refiling your taxes for the years you were married could be expensive, particularly if you need to hire a tax preparer or accountant to do so on your behalf. You may also no longer have the needed documentation available. However, the savings could override the cost.

Before you jump into seeking an annulment instead of a divorce, take the time to discuss the differences with your attorney. It is actually very difficult to qualify for an annulment, whereas any couple can get a divorce. You should also discuss whether there are in fact any tax benefits with your tax preparer or financial advisor before you make a decision based on this.

Call the Sampair Group for experienced assistance with divorce, annulment and their tax implications in Maricopa County. Our attorneys are ready to discuss your case and your options with you.

Arizona Annulments

coupleAn annulment and a divorce are not the same thing. A divorce ends a marriage. An annulment legally decides that the marriage was never legal in the first place and did not technically exist. A legal annulment is granted by the court in Arizona, but it is not the same thing as a religious annulment which is granted by your religious institution. You can get a legal annulment but still be religiously married, and vice versa.

An annulment can only be granted in situations where the marriage was not entered into legally. It is not available if you changed your mind. A marriage can be annulled only for the following specific legal reasons:

  • One of the parties was already legally married to someone else or concealed his or her previous marital status.
  • The parties are closely genetically related (except when they are both over 65 and are first cousins)
  • One of the parties was under age 18 at the time the marriage was entered into.
  • A legal marriage license was not obtained.
  • Fraud was used to induce one of the parties to marry the other.
  • Duress was used to force one of the parties to enter the marriage.
  • One of the parties did not have the mental capacity to enter into a marriage.
  • The parties have not had sexual intercourse.

An annulment determines the marriage never existed. However, any children conceived during the marriage are legitimate children of both parties. When the court grants the annulment, child custody, child support, and property division can be determined by the court.

If you want an annulment, contact the Sampair Group in the Phoenix, Mesa, and Glendale areas. Our attorneys are available to talk to you.