A lot of people in a struggling marriage want to get an annulment rather than a divorce because they believe there is a certain stigma that comes with divorce. That may be the case depending on your culture, religion, or other circumstances. The problem is that getting an annulment is much more difficult than getting a divorce.
Divorce can be granted by the court for simple “irreconcilable difference.” Annulment in Utah requires much more. There are very specific grounds that must be met for a court to grant an annulment. The easiest way to get an annulment is by proving that your spouse is already married. The toughest way to get an annulment is to allege that you were fraudulently induced to marry your spouse.
The Process for Obtaining an Annulment
In most cases when we have a client who wishes to obtain an annulment we will ask that the court in the alternative grant a divorce. This is done by way of petition. The petition sets for the allegations that would allow for an annulment and then in the alternative asks the court to grant a divorce if the requirements for an annulment are not met.
Even if an annulment is uncontested, the Court will require a hearing. At the hearing the party asking for the annulment has to present evidence that the requirements for annulment are satisfied. This is done by putting on witnesses (usually just the husband and wife are the witnesses) and presenting documents. The Court hears all of the evidence and then decides whether the standard has been met for proving an annulment.
If the standard is not met for annulment the court will still grant the parties a divorce and order the parties to prepare the final divorce documents.
If you are wondering if you qualify for an annulment we can usually tell you right over the phone. Call our law firm anytime at 801.618.1331 for a free over the phone consultation.