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Moran & Associates Family Law

What Are Annulments in Colorado?

Annulments in Colorado are not the same as in other states. An annulment, formally known as a “Dissolution of Marriage” is a lawful declaration that effectively declares that marriage has been dissolved by mistake, fraud or neglect.

annulmentsWhile an annulment may result in the same result as a divorce (both of which end the existing marriage), annulments differ from divorces in that they declare that no valid marriage ever existed (rather than declaring that one marriage has ended).

If two Colorado residents married in accordance with the state law and one of them was later proved to be legally incompetent, they can petition for an annulment. The court will listen to their request and determine if the marriage was entered into voluntarily dissolved upon the individuals’ failure to act in a reasonable way.

After the courts determine that the parties entered into the marriage unwillingly, and that the failure to dissolve the marriage didn’t result in the individuals’ incapacitation, they will issue the annulment. Other states may have differing grounds on which to grant or deny annulments. In addition to the common grounds mentioned above, Colorado courts will allow an annulment for a variety of other grounds.

These grounds can be based on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include age (if the marriage-initiated parties were younger than eighteen when they entered into the marriage, they can get an annulment), residency within the state, the previous residence of the parties in the state, and many other reasons.

Although it can be difficult to determine what the grounds are for a given case, Colorado family lawyers can help their clients understand their position and if the case will qualify for an annulment. There are many gray areas in between reasons, as well, and a Colorado Springs annulment lawyer will be able to better explain these grounds and the laws that will apply to their client’s case.

Some people mistakenly believe that annulments only come about when there has been a sexual union or sexual intercourse between two consenting adults. Sexual relations do not always require a formal marriage to become legal.

For example, consenting adults who engage in a one-night stand will likely not meet the legal requirements for a valid divorce proceeding. However, they can still apply for legal separation. Again, a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer will be able to explain the difference.

Some states and courts have defined what annulments really are. However, this is not true everywhere. In fact, some legal separation and annulments will have different standards of validity depending on where the parties are located. A family law attorney can inform clients of whether or not they are eligible for legal separation in their state.

Many couples in other states live in what is called “paradise land”. In Colorado, a separate marriage license is granted when one of the parties is legally separated and neither party is deemed to have committed adultery in the first place. This is referred to as a “paradise separation” and is considered a valid form of Colorado divorce.

In other states and courthouses, annulments and divorces have very different standards for their validation. A good Colorado Springs family law attorney will know which jurisdictions will give the same type of invalidity for their clients.

However, a Colorado divorce lawyer can inform clients about the differences so that they can decide which process they wish to proceed through. They may also be able to recommend a course of action in-between states or counties that will have less impact on their credit rating or their children. In some cases, annulments cannot be finalized unless one of the parties is under a mental health evaluation.

There are a number of different reasons why a couple may seek an annulment in Colorado. They may want their names removed from the marriage certificate to avoid future difficulties or they may be looking for a way out of a marriage that involves fraud or duress.

Whatever the reason, it is important to understand that annulments cannot be processed unless there was fraud or duress. The process will only be initiated if the couple filed for an annulment within three years of the filing of the lawsuit. Under Colorado law, an annulment cannot be granted until the annuitant has proven the validity of his or her claims.