Table of Contents:
- How to File an Annulment in Arkansas
- How to File for Annulment in Oklahoma
- How to File for an Annulment in Texas
Determine your grounds for annulment. The Arkansas Code states that annulments are granted only for specific reasons. Parents might have a child's marriage annulled if the male is younger than 17 -- or the female is younger than 16 -- at the time of marriage. Those without the mental or physical capacity to enter into marriage are typically granted an annulment. Fraud, force, same-sex and incestuous marriages all qualify as grounds to file for annulment in Arkansas.
Obtain birth certificates for grounds of insufficient age. Guardians attempting to annul a minor child's marriage in Arkansas must show the court order awarding them custody of the child. Medical records and psychological records might be required to prove physical or mental incapacity to enter into marriage. Documents that usually prove fraud or force include police reports, and personal correspondence relating to the fraud or force. Ask pertinent witnesses to testify on your behalf.
Consult an attorney experienced in family law to file an annulment in Arkansas. Check the Arkansas Judiciary web page (see Resources) to search for an attorney in your area. Do-it-yourself, or pro se, filers can download the Domestic Relations Cover Sheet (see Resources), required for the filing of every annulment. Complete that form as per the instructions. Arkansas considers requests for annulments in the Circuit Court system. Check the Arkansas Circuit Clerk Directory (see Resources) to find the Circuit Clerk in your county. Request pleading forms to accompany the cover sheet.
File the annulment paperwork and pay the filing fee. Check the Arkansas Judiciary web page for current fee amounts (see Resources). Choose how you want the papers served to your partner. Options include delivery by sheriff, process server and postal mail. Using a sheriff or process server incurs additional costs. If you have retained an attorney, he will handle these matters. After filing, the court sets a date for a hearing to determine if your marriage qualifies for an annulment.
Meet the grounds to file for annulment in Oklahoma. According to the state's requirements, grounds for annulment include the fact that you or your spouse was too young to be capable of legally entering into the contract of marriage. If you were under 18 on the day you swapped vows, you can file for annulment in Oklahoma.
Another reason to file for annulment in Oklahoma is that either you or your spouse lacked the mental capacity to understand the contract you were entering in to. This includes individuals who were mentally incapacitated; insane; or under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or mind-altering prescription medication at the time of the wedding.
Compile documents and personal information. To file for annulment in Oklahoma, you must provide: your and your spouse's full, legal name, address and phone number; the full names, addresses, dates of birth, level of education and current school of your children; your financial information, including your income from all sources, expenses and liabilities; information regarding any prenuptial agreement, previous separations you and your spouse have previously been through, and any previous marriages.
You also must provide your marriage license, bank account information, pay stubs or statements from any benefits you receive, your most recent tax return, and a detailed list of you and your spouse's asset and current expenses and liabilities.
Draft and file an annulment petition, which should lay forth the facts of the marriage and the reasons you are seeking annulment. Contact the clerk of the court for your county's district court for a copy of the form.
Complete the petition fully. Include your full name, address, personal information and the same for your spouse. List the grounds for your annulment and explain why you are seeking one. Attach copies of any documents that the form asks for.
File at your district courthouse and pay the filing fee. A hearing date will then be set, which you will receive either at the time of filing or by mail.
Attend your hearing. You and your spouse must attend, unless you provide an entry of appearance, which means you have hired an attorney to appear on your behalf. If you cannot attend, contact the clerk immediately and ask it to be rescheduled.
At the hearing, the judge will allow both you and your spouse to talk, ask you questions and request documents to aid in ruling. The judge will then decide whether to grant the annulment. If granted, an annulment decree will be signed and entered, and the marriage will become void immediately and retroactively. If denied, you may appeal or choose to seek a divorce.
File three copies of an annulment petition with the court. A basic petition form is usually offered by the state court, but you can also type a petition. The petition identifies the parties, the date of the marriage sought to be annulled, that the marriage was entered into in Texas, that there were no children born or property acquired during the marriage and the grounds for the annulment. Grounds include that the marriage was entered into while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or that the marriage was entered into less than 72 hours previously. You will need to pay a fee to file the petition.
Obtain an annulment waiver of service signed by your spouse. This form is also offered by the court. In this form your spouse waives his right to receive formal notice of the petition. It must be notarized to be considered valid. At this time you should deliver a copy of the petition to your spouse. Your delivery of petition to your spouse is not considered formal service. Your spouse is still entitled, however, to receive a copy of the petition.
File the waiver of service and an annulment decree with the court. A decree form can usually be obtained at the court and states the grounds for an annulment and that all parties agree to the annulment. The judge will sign the decree and mail each party a certified copy. At this point the marriage has been dissolved.
Serve your spouse. This step is only necessary if your spouse refused to sign a waiver of service. Formal service will be performed by the sheriff and can be arranged at the office of the clerk of court where you filed the petition.
Permit your spouse to file a response. This step is only necessary if your spouse refused to sign an annulment of waiver of service. Most court rules provide a spouse 20 days to file a response.
Schedule a hearing before the court. This step is necessary if your spouse filed a response to your petition or did not sign a waiver or response. Serve your spouse with formal notice of the hearing, which can be arranged at the office of the clerk of court. You and your spouse are entitled to attend and argue at the hearing. If at the end of the hearing the court believes you are entitled to an annulment, it will sign the annulment decree and enter it into the court file.