One alternative to a divorce may be filing for an annulment. Annulments are difficult to obtain in Nevada and should be considered very carefully, as an alternative to divorce. It is strongly recommended that someone considering an annulment in lieu of a divorce consult an attorney.
What is an annulment?
Generally,the word annulment means a revocation or the state of being canceled. An annulled marriage is a marriage that never existed in the eyes of the law. Usually, courts considering annulments will not rule on division of assets, debts or spousal support. If you seek an annulment, the Court may not have jurisdiction over your property.
Why get an annulment instead of a divorce?
In some cases, an annulled marriage may be preferred over a divorce. One of the biggest reasons people prefer annulment over divorce is cost. It is almost always cheaper to annul a marriage than it is to divorce. People also chose annulment for religious reasons and for other financial considerations.
Will my annulment be automatically granted?
In Nevada, there are two categories of marriages that may be annulled. Void marriages are one category where the annulment is always granted. Void marriages include marriages where the parties are related by blood (closer than second cousins) or marriages where either of the parties has a current spouse that is living. If there is a void marriage, no decree of annulment or other legal proceeding is required; however, people with void marriages often want a piece of paper declaring the marriage void and thus, an annulment proceeding in this circumstance is appropriate.
The other category of marriage that may be annulled in Nevada is a voidable marriage. A “voidable” marriage is valid until it is annulled.Voidable marriages include: (1) Lack of consent of parent or guardian for a minor less than 18 years old; (2) want of understanding; (3) fraud; or (4)grounds for declaring a contract void in equity.
How do I get an annulment if my marriage is a "voidable" marriage?
Want of understanding can be made on grounds of extreme intoxication, insanity or mental disability. Fraud may include such matters as the intent by one party to live separately even after marriage or the desire by one party to refrain from sexual relations. These two categories are generally the basis for annulment attempts in Las Vegas. An annulment is usually denied if after the intoxication, fraud or insanity, the parties continue to live together as husband and wife.
If you have a voidable marriage, it will be up to you to present evidence to the judge that your marriage should be annulled. You may need to call witnesses to demonstrate to the Court that the marriage was not a valid marriage.
How long does the annulment process take in Nevada?
The time it takes to complete a Nevada annulment depends on whether it the annulment is filed as a one signature annulment or a two signature annulment. Other factors that may affect the time it takes to complete an annulment include whether one party is arguing against the annulment, the type of service of process required and the speed with which the Judge who has the annulment can complete the paperwork. In general, an annulment may take 1-3 weeks if it is a two signature annulment or about 10-12 weeks if it is a one signature annulment. A contested annulment may take months or even years.
Why should I hire an attorney for my annulment?
The annulment process can be tricky. Anyone considering an annulment should consider obtaining sound legal advice before filing.
As stated above, annulments in Nevada that are based upon voidable marriages are often difficult to obtain. A Nevada resident looking for an annulment of avoidable marriage is encouraged to plead divorce in the alternative. A knowledge annulment attorney can provide legal advice and give guidance on whether the marriage is likely to be annulled.
Regardless of the type of annulment you are seeking, our office can help. We have assisted our clients in pursuing annulments for over fifteen years. Call us today at (702) 433-2889 or fill out our on-line form for more information.