Annulment in Arizona is a judicial process to declare a marriage non-existent and invalid from the start. An annulment is granted in Arizona if evidence demonstrates that because of the legal status of one or another of the parties a valid marriage never existed. Arizona law establishes a specific procedure for annulment cases in that state. Annulments are not favored in Arizona law. If legitimate grounds do not exist for an annulment under Arizona law, the court will dismiss the case or convert it to an action for divorce.
Obtain a petition for annulment form from the office of the clerk of the superior court in the county where you or your alleged spouse reside. Superior court clerks typically maintain forms of commonly used documents, including a petition for annulment.
Determine the legal ground supporting an annulment. Your options under Arizona law include inability to consummate the marriage, fraud, bigamy and a concealed communicable disease or criminal record.
Complete the petition for annulment. The petition requires basic information about you, your alleged spouse, the marriage and the specific grounds upon which you seek an order of annulment from the court.
File the petition for annulment with the clerk of the superior court.
Request the superior court clerk to direct the sheriff to serve the petition for annulment on your alleged spouse. (Typically this is known as "serving divorce papers.")
Schedule a hearing on your petition for annulment. Obtain a hearing date from either the superior court clerk's office or from the administrative assistant to the judge assigned your case.
Attend the hearing and present your evidence supporting the contention that no valid marriage existed in the first instance. Evidence includes testimony of witnesses and documents. If you prevail, the judge orders a decree annulling your marriage.
Seriously consider retaining an experienced attorney to represent you in your annulment case. Due to the complexity of Arizona annulment laws, your rights and interests obtain best protection through capable legal representation. The State Bar of Arizona maintains a directory of attorneys in difference practice areas. Contact the State Bar of Arizona at:
State Bar of Arizona 4201 N. 24th St. Suite 200 Phoenix, AZ 85016-6288 602-252-4804 http://www.azbar.org/
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