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Getting an “annulment” of your marriage, referred to as a declaration of invalidity of marriage in Colorado, is a rare path for ending a marriage. Thanks to the no-fault divorce it is easier to simply obtain a dissolution of marriage than to declare a marriage invalid, despite news reports of celebrities quickly getting annulments of their brief marriages.
As a practical matter, there is little difference between the outcomes of an annulment and a divorce in Colorado. With an annulment, however, the marriage effectively never happened, which may be appealing for personal reasons.
Unlike a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, also known as a Divorce, where you simply have to show that there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage, an Annulment of a marriage is much more difficult to achieve. To qualify for an Annulment in Colorado, you must meet one the following requirements as set forth in C.R.S. § 14-10-111(1):
There are a few reported cases on what constitutes the type of fraud to support an annulment. Ultimately, it will be determined on a case by case basis whether the misrepresentation one party made was what induced the other party to marry, however these cases can provide some guidance.
A petition to invalidate a marriage must be filed within the following timeframes, based on the grounds for which you are looking to invalidate the marriage, and only be the indicated person:
The procedures for an annulment are similar to those in a divorce proceeding or legal separation. If the marriage occurred in Colorado, the petition for annulment can be initiated at any time within the deadline periods described above. If the marriage occurred outside of Colorado, at least one-party mush have been a resident of Colorado for 30 days before filing.
Even in a case for annulment, the court still resolves issues pertaining to the division of marital property and debts, maintenance, and parenting rights, responsibilities, and child support. As a result, a contested annulment could take as long to process as a divorce.
At any point during the process, high-tension situations can erupt into full-on litigation battles. Sound advice and effective representation from the top-rated lawyers at Burnham Law, however, can help you stay focused throughout the process.
Our top-rated team is ready to apply our knowledge and experience to overcome the challenges of annulment so you can move on with your life. To get answers about your options and how we can further assist you, contact us today for a consultation.
With multiple offices in Colorado, we provide exceptional counsel to clients throughout the Denver metro area and throughout the state of Colorado.