An annulment is a court procedure that dissolves a marriage and treats the marriage as if it never happened. This is a legal procedure that is different from a divorce in that an annulment declares a marriage void and is retroactive. The grounds for annulment often vary from state to state, but the state of Arizona has some pretty basic requirements on what can constitute an annulment.
AboutDivorce.org states that misrepresentation, concealment of a disease, concealment of crime, inability to consummate the marriage, and addiction to drugs are all legal grounds for annulment under the Arizona law. FindLaw states that most of these grounds are pretty common throughout most U.S states. And while an annulment may seem like a nice "get out of jail free card" if you're unhappy with a marriage, it's important to realize that there can be some consequences when getting a marriage annulled.
The most obvious consequence is that a person loses the rights that a married person enjoys. With an annulment, a person loses the right to file for spousal maintenance or alimony when the marriage ends. Child support, however, can still be awarded. FindLaw also states that a person loses marital property rights and succession rights with an annulment.
With an annulment a person is free to marry again without going through the process of a painful divorce. Phoenix family lawyers are also able to help couples go through the legal process of annulment. For more information about the annulment procedure, see our Related Resources pages.