Many people think of divorce as the simple act of getting separated from your spouse. However, that’s not always the case.
Some people can have options when getting a divorce. Those who have only been married for a short time should consider an annulment because it could offer a way to minimize the cost and the time required to complete the separation.
That being said, it’s critical to gain information from a trusted Denver divorce attorney before proceeding. Take a look at how you can protect your assets while completing the divorce process after a short-term marriage.
The Grounds for Annulment
If you’re considering the annulment process after your short marriage, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of the legal grounds for completing the annulment. To complete an annulment in Colorado, the claim must meet at least one of the following legal standards:
- A spouse lacked the mental capacity to consent at the time of the marriage (e.g. mental incapacity, drugs, or alcohol)
- A spouse lacked the physical capacity to consummate the marriage (i.e. cannot have intercourse), and the other did not know this at the time of marriage.
- A spouse was under the legal age to consent to marriage (18, or 16 with consent, for marriage in Colorado) and did not have consent from parents, guardians, or a Colorado family law court to marry.
- One spouse married in reliance on the other's fraudulent act or misrepresentation which went "to the essence of the marriage.”
- One or both spouses married under duress.
- The marriage was void due to bigamy/polygamy, incest (ancestor & descendant, siblings, uncle/niece, or aunt/nephew), or any other reason under the laws of the place where the marriage was entered into.
Additional Annulment Considerations
When analyzing the potential value of the annulment process, you should carefully examine all elements involved in completing the annulment alongside a trusted Denver divorce attorney. In most cases of annulment, the couple won’t have had time to collect shared assets. However, you may wish to consider property division and spousal support when reviewing your separation options.
There are certain time limits on requesting an annulment and they vary based on what the circumstances are. These time limits can be discussed during a consultation.
Further considerations may include:
Alimony from a Previous Marriage
In cases of annulment, alimony payments from a previous marriage might be reinstated by a judge. The courts will treat the annulled marriage as if it didn’t exist.
In an annulment case, the courts in Colorado keep to the doctrine of ensuring the best for the child. And this means child custody can be contested as part of the annulment process. The courts will determine who receives custody and whether any child support is required.
Fault is a Factor
Unlike divorce cases in which fault is not a legal consideration, annulment cases may require the establishment of fault and then allocate assets based on that determination.
To secure a short-term divorce from your spouse, it’s critical that you work directly with a qualified Denver divorce attorney to protect your rights and your legal assets. To learn more about the annulment process, book a consultation with one of our legal experts today.