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Getting an Annulment in Utah
Q. Explain the difference between an annulment and a divorce.
A divorce end a legal marriage and resolves child support, child custody, spousal support and the division of marital assets. An annulment is the court’s decree that the marriage was never valid, and should not have taken place.
Q. How does one know if they can get an annulment?
There are grounds for annulment just like there are grounds for divorce. To receive an annulment, a marriage must fit the description of a void marriage or a voidable marriage. Grounds include entering a marriage by Fraud and Duress, Mental Illness, Bigamy, Impotency, and Consanguinity (marrying a relative too closely related.)
Q. What is the difference between void and voidable marriages. They both can be annulled?
A void marriage is a type of marriage which is on its face unlawful under the laws of the jurisdiction where it is or was entered
- one or both of the parties are below the legal age to marry and did not have parental consent
- the parties degrees of consanguinity are too close, for example, a brother and sister or a parent and a child
- the form of the marriage is forbidden by statute (such as same-sex marriage, and bigamy (multiple marriages).
Residents can marry on their own at age 18, at age 16 with consent from a parent or guardian, or at age 15 with consent from a parent or guardian and permission from the court. State courts will not annul a marriage if these restrictions have been followed. In situations where a party is less than 18 years old and wants an annulment, the papers must be filed by a parent or guardian. To be successful with a fraud claim, the misdirection must be material in nature.
The party initiating the petition must file a Complaint for Annulment in the district court in the county where either party has resided for at least 90 days. In the complaint you will list the details of both spouses. If you need the court to settle issues relating to child custody, child support, visitation, alimony or division of marital assets, you must state that request.
A copy of your complaint must be served on your spouse. The court will schedule a hearing where you must present evidence (or witnesses, if needed), and the judge will make a determination as to the merits of your presentation. Should it pass muster, the court will issue a decree of annulment.
[Utah Code – Sections: 30-1-1 to 3; 17.1]
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