How To Annul A Nevada Marriage
Nevada, and Las Vegas in particular, has a reputation as a place where fast relationships are often legalized. Given the many wedding chapels on the Strip, it is perhaps understandable. However, in many cases, a “quickie” marriage can be annulled. Marriages can be annulled if they meet certain criteria, and if you need an annulment, it is a good idea to do your research before filing.
Annulment vs Divorce
An annulment is when a couple seeks to have a marriage entirely erased from records, rather than simply dissolving it – in short, an annulment states that a marriage never happened, while a divorce states that a marriage has dissolved. While annulments are more rare than divorces, they are still often sought, especially by religious people for whom divorce would be anathema, and by people who might assume an annulment would be easier to obtain due to some inherent, known flaw in the marriage in the first place.
There are certain similarities in seeking an annulment and a divorce – the method by which either is done, for instance. In either case, you must file a complaint in court, have the papers served upon the other party, hold appropriate hearings or receive a default judgment if no answer to the complaint is entered. However, unlike in a divorce, an annulment effectively wipes the slate clean – no claims for alimony can be made, though child support may still be obtainable depending on the specifics of the marriage (that right belongs to the child and cannot be negotiated away by either parent).
Must Have Grounds
Another way that annulments and divorces differ, is that there must be valid grounds in order for an annulment to be granted, while Nevada has abolished grounds for divorce other than irreconcilable differences. Annulments can be granted on the basis of either a void or a voidable marriage existing – a void marriage is one that could never legally have existed in the first place, such as when one or both parties were still married to others, while a voidable marriage is when there is some defect that can cancel an existing marriage.
There are several grounds for annulling a voidable marriage. Perhaps the most commonly seen in this day and age is lack of parental consent – those under 18 may not marry without at least one parent’s consent under Nevada law, and if the minors enter a marriage without the same, this lack of consent is grounds for annulment due to the fact that minors cannot legally enter into contracts and a marriage is a legal contract. Other grounds include insanity, ‘lack of understanding,’ fraud, or duress.
Can A Las Vegas Family Lawyer Help You?
Even though annulments are uncommon nowadays, it is still important to know that the option is there, and if you need to consult a knowledgeable attorney to know how best to proceed in your case, the Kainen Law Group is happy to try and assist. Contact our Las Vegas offices today at 702-823-4900 to schedule a consultation.