Like a divorce, an annulment is a court procedure that dissolves, or ends, a marriage. An annulment is different from a divorce in that an annulment treats the marriage like it never happened. Some people still think divorce carries a stigma, so they would rather have their marriage annulled than get a divorce.
Grounds for Annulment in Nevada
The Spouses Are Closely Related.
Those who are close blood relatives are not allowed to marry. In Nevada, parties cannot be related any closer than second cousins or cousins of the half-blood to marry. If the spouses are related beyond that level, the marriage is considered “void,” meaning; it was invalid from the start.
One Person Was Already Married.
If one of the spouses was already married at the time the parties attempted to marry, the parties were not free to legally marry. This kind of marriage is considered “void,” meaning; it was invalid from the start.
Lack of Parental Consent.
Usually, a person must be 18 years old or older to get married. Those under 18 can get married if they get the proper consents. Anyone under the age of 16 must have at least one parent’s consent and a judge’s consent to marry, and anyone between 16-18 must have at least one parent’s consent to marry.
If a minor got married without these required consents, the marriage can be annulled. However, there are two limitations to this. First, the marriage cannot be annulled once the person reaches the age of 18 if the person is willingly living with the spouse as a married couple. Second, an annulment case based on these grounds must be filed within one year of the person turning 18.
Want of Understanding.
If one of the spouses did not understand what they were doing at the time of the marriage to the point they were incapable of agreeing to the marriage, the marriage may be annulled for “want of understanding.” Anyone using this as a reason for an annulment must prove this to the judge by “clear and satisfactory” evidence.
A marriage can also be annulled if one of the spouses was insane at the time of the marriage but has now regained sanity. However, if the parties continue to willingly live together as a married couple after sanity was restored, the marriage cannot be annulled.
If either of the spouses committed a fraud on the other to get them to agree to the marriage, the marriage may be annulled. A fraud generally means that one person intentionally lied about something they knew was important to the other person in order to convince the person to marry. The lie must be so serious that if the other person knew the truth, the other person would never have gone through with the marriage. Anyone using this as a reason for annulment must prove the fraud to the judge by “clear and convincing” evidence.
However, if the spouse learns about the fraud and continues to willingly live with the other spouse as a married couple, the marriage cannot be annulled.
Annulments and divorces are very similar, but also very different. There are some critical differences you need to know if you are not sure whether to ask for an annulment or a divorce.
Similarities to Divorce.
Just as in a divorce, a judge in an annulment case will have to determine child custody, child support, division of property, and division of debts. An annulment case will also generally follow the same legal process as a divorce in terms of the steps involved to get a final decree.
Differences from Divorce
The major differences between divorce and annulments are:
• Legal Effect.
An annulment treats a marriage as if it was invalid because there was some defect related to how or why the marriage took place. When an annulment is granted, it’s as if the parties were never married because the marriage was invalid.
- No Nevada Residency Requirement.
Anyone who was married in Nevada can file for an annulment in Nevada; neither person has to be a Nevada resident (a Nevada resident can also file for an annulment here regardless of where the marriage took place).
A Nevada divorce, on the other hand, can only be granted to a Nevada resident.
A divorce can be granted when the spouses are “incompatible”, meaning; they just don’t get along anymore. Neither spouse has to prove anyone did anything wrong to cause the divorce.
There is a much higher standard for people seeking an annulment. Whoever is asking for an annulment has the burden to prove why an annulment should be granted – the judge will not grant an annulment until you have proven your case. There are only a few reasons that a court can grant an annulment.
- Alimony (also called “spousal support”)
Spouses who get an annulment typically cannot ask for alimony. An alimony award is generally based on the parties having a valid marriage.
If you’re considering filing an Annulment… We Can Help!