Annulments in Colorado (2023) - What, How & When

March 4, 2023

Englewood Domestic Partnership Lawyer

Marriage is a complicated institution, as is divorce. However, these situations can become even more complicated when lying, deceit, or misinformation are fundamental parts of a couple’s union.

Although many people have heard of annulment, it is a concept that is often misunderstood. There are strict criteria that make a couple eligible for an annulment. This can prevent them from having to endure the full divorce process.

If you are considering separation, divorce, or annulment, it is essential that you understand your options and have all relevant information before you proceed. Our team at Johnson Law Group, LLC, is committed to providing reliable, straightforward information to our clients. That way, they can make informed choices about their lives.

What Is Annulment?

Annulment is a legal process by which the court invalidates or erases a marriage. Unlike divorce, an annulment removes the marriage completely from a person’s record, declaring it invalid. After the process is finished, it is as if the marriage never happened.

Colorado approaches this process in a unique way, as the court does not have an action called “annulment of marriage.” Rather, the court can grant a “declaration of invalidity,” which is essentially the same as an annulment.

Grounds for Annulment

Certain criteria must be met for an annulment or declaration of invalidity to take place. Many separations are not eligible for these options. In those cases, the couple must go through the divorce process instead.

To be eligible for annulment, one of the following must have occurred:

  • One spouse could not provide valid consent at the time of the marriage due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or mental illness symptoms.
  • One spouse engaged in fraudulent behavior that affected the heart, or essence, of the marriage. The spouse used this fraudulent behavior to convince the other spouse to marry them.
  • One spouse is physically unable to consummate the marriage or perform sexually, unbeknownst to the other spouse before the marriage.
  • At the time of the marriage, one partner was still legally wed to another person (bigamy).
  • One spouse was under duress, forced, or coerced into the marriage.
  • The marriage was the result of a dare or joke.
  • One spouse was under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage and did not have parental consent to marry.

Each of these conditions comes with a time frame for annulment. These time frames range from six months to two years. In the case of bigamy, either a member of the couple, the offending party’s legal spouse, or a child of the offending spouse can file for annulment at any time before the offending spouse dies.

Hiring an Attorney

If you are facing annulment, it is essential that you find legal representation to help you with your case. These situations are often more complicated than expected, and the legal process can take significant time and money to complete. Navigating this landscape on your own can lead to stress, mistakes, and even a lost opportunity. If you wait too long, or make mistakes during the process, you may miss out on your ability to file for a declaration of invalidity.

An attorney can help you complete the paperwork properly and file it correctly. You will need proof that one of the criteria for annulment has been met. Your attorney can also help you assemble your evidence and argue your case in front of a judge. This takes the pressure off you during a time that is already fraught with stress and uncertainty.

Do not attempt to file for a declaration of invalidity without legal representation.

FAQs

Q: What Are the Requirements for an Annulment in Colorado?

A: An annulment, or declaration of invalidity, can happen in Colorado if one or more of the following are true:

  • One spouse was underage at the time of marriage and did not get parental permission.
  • One spouse cannot consummate the marriage.
  • Bigamy has occurred.
  • A spouse could not consent due to drugs, alcohol, or mental incapacity.
  • The marriage is a product of coercion.
  • The marriage is based on fraudulent behavior.
  • The marriage was a joke or a dare.

Q: How Long Do You Have to Be Married to Get an Annulment?

A: Unlike divorce scenarios, there is no minimum length for a marriage to be eligible for annulment. However, there are limited windows of time for you to seek an annulment. These deadlines depend on the situation and when you discover the information that invalidates the marriage. Most annulments must occur between six months and two years after discovering the relevant information. Seek legal counsel right away if you are considering an invalidation of your marriage.

Q: What Is the First Step for Annulment?

A: The first step to getting an annulment is finding an attorney to represent you. Having an attorney ensures that you complete all documents correctly and file them on time. Once you have an attorney for your annulment, you can begin to fill out the necessary paperwork and assemble any evidence necessary for your case. Once the process begins, annulments can occur fairly quickly and efficiently in the Colorado system, as long as you have proper legal representation.

Q: How Long Do You Have to Annul a Marriage in Colorado?

A: Annulments must happen fairly quickly after a fraudulent marriage. In many cases, you have only six months to file for a declaration of invalidity (annulment) in Colorado. In other cases, you have up to two years to file. In the case of bigamy, you have until the offending spouse’s death to file for an annulment. To be sure that you follow the appropriate timeline, hire an attorney to represent you throughout your declaration of invalidity process.

Contact Johnson Law Group, LLC

Our team at Johnson Law Group, LLC, understands the stress and pressure that marriage can present. We also understand the complicated emotions that often accompany annulment or divorce. Because of this, we can provide empathetic, supportive legal services throughout your annulment process. You can trust us with this vulnerable time in your life.

For more information, or to begin a declaration of invalidity, contact Johnson Law Group, LLC, today.

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