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Can I Get an Annulment in Colorado?

Annulment is a legal concept that makes a determination about marital status. Unlike divorce, which dissolves a legally valid marriage, an annulment in Colorado ends a marriage by declaring that it was never valid in the first place. After an annulment, the existence of the marriage is not recognized in the eyes of the law. Many people prefer an annulment over divorce to avoid the stigma; others choose this route because it may be easier for them to remarry in their church. Whatever the reason, there are certain conditions and deadlines that must be met in order to get a marriage annulled.

Requirements for an Annulment in Colorado

The specific requirements for annulment vary from state to state, but in Colorado, a marriage can be voided for one of the following reasons:

  • Bigamy: It is illegal for a person to be married to more than one person. An annulment can be requested at any time.
  • Incest: It is unlawful for people who are closely related by blood to marry one another. Incestuous marriages can be annulled by any spouse at any time before the other spouse’s death.
  • Lack of capacity: If a spouse lacked the ability to consent to the marriage due to a temporary mental condition or because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the marriage is voidable within six months of learning of the lack of capacity.
  • Fraud or misrepresentation: If one of the spouses used misrepresentations or fraud to trick the other spouse into entering a marriage, the marriage is invalid. A spouse has six months to file for an annulment from the time they learned of the deception.
  • Duress: A marriage is considered voidable within six months if it was entered into through force or extreme coercion.
  • Age: If one or both spouses entered the marriage underage and without the consent of a parent or legal guardian, the spouse or their parent/guardian have two years to file for an annulment.
  • Impotency: A marriage is voidable within one year if one spouse is impotent and the other spouse did not know about it at the time of marriage, or if one spouse refuses to consummate the marriage.
  • Jest or dare: Marriages entered into as a jest or dare are voidable within six months of learning of the joke.

The Annulment Process in Colorado

Colorado does not have an official action specifically called an “annulment.” Rather, couples can file for a “declaration of invalidity,” which nullifies the marriage. In order to file for a declaration of invalidity in Colorado, an individual must have lived in Colorado for at least 30 days before the start of proceedings (if they were married in Colorado, this waiting period does not apply).

While most states assume that invalid marriages cannot technically have marital estates, Colorado provides that the same property division, alimony, and child custody and support laws that apply to divorce also apply to annulment. Thus, couples who annul their marriages will have their property divided, debt reassessed, and alimony payments determined. If children are involved, child custody and visitation schedules will also be put into place.

Considering a Dissolution of Marriage?

Whether you think you might be eligible for an annulment or are considering a divorce, Modern Family Law is ready to assist you. Because annulment law requires that certain strict deadlines be met, it is important not to delay in calling our firm as soon as possible to begin filing your petition. Get started with a FREE consultation with a Colorado divorce attorney from our firm. We proudly serve families throughout Colorado and California.

Posted November 18, 2015
by: MFL Team

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