The Difference Between Divorce and Annulment
Under Utah Code, an individual may end a marriage through an annulment or divorce. A marriage also legally comes to an end if one of the partners passes away.
The majority of terminated marriages end with a divorce that dissolves a marriage once considered valid under the law. Going through a divorce is often a complicated, painful, emotional, and expensive experience. In some cultures and religions, a stigma also exists that prevents or discourages a person from marrying someone who was previously married and is now divorced.
Unlike a divorce, an annulment treats the marriage as if it had never occurred. When the court annuls a marriage, the union never legally existed. An annulment means that the parties never were married in the first place, though any children of an annulled marriage are considered legitimate and their rights must be taken into account.
At the Law Office of David Pedrazas, David is an experienced Salt Lake City divorce attorney with over 20 years of experience helping others with annulments in Utah. Contact our office today to get the help you deserve.
Utah Marriage Annulment Requirements
Utah Code outlines the various conditions under which a person may receive an annulment. Although individuals have a broad number of options under the state’s divorce law, Utah annulment laws are more narrow in focus. Acceptable conditions for an annulment in Utah include the following:
- A marriage has taken place between close relatives in the same family, defined as first cousins or closer, sometimes known as consanguinity or an incestuous relationship
- A marriage unites two persons who identify as members of the same gender
- A person under 18 years of age entered into a marriage without receiving parental consent
- A person in the marriage remains legally married to another person, even if they plan to get a divorce, an act known as bigamy
- A person in the marriage had not reached the legal age under which the state allows them to marry (the age of 14 for weddings prior to May 3, 1999, and the age of 16 since then except in cases where parents and the court grant consent for an individual who is at least 15)
- A person in the marriage has committed a significant act of fraud or misrepresentation that has a substantial and adverse impact on the marital relationship
Preparing Your Case for an Annulment in Utah
For the conditions listed above, you will need to gather documentation to share with the court indicating that at least one of the partners failed to meet the marriage requirements under the law if you wish to seek an annulment. For example, a birth certificate or other official record that validates an individual’s date of birth or family lines can be used to ascertain a person’s age or biological relationship to others.
Annulment based upon claims of fraud or misrepresentation must prove that these acts directly impacted the partners’ marital relationship. The fraud or misrepresentation must be extreme such as withholding harmful information that, if known, would have prevented the marriage from having occurred in the first place. Annulment may also be granted for impotence or failure to consummate the marriage.
The Salt Lake City, Utah Law Office of David Pedrazas: A Firm that Understands Annulment Law
The Law Office of David Pedrazas has successfully assisted clients seeking annulments. Our firm understands the process to obtain an annulment in Utah as well as the nuances of Utah annulment laws. Contact our office today to schedule a Legal Case Review regarding annulments or other family law matters.