A marriage annulment is a specific legal proceeding designed to void a marriage union under exceptionally limited circumstances. As opposed to a divorce, which acknowledges the marriage and severs the legal relationship, an annulment operates to treat the marriage is if it never existed in the first place.
In one recent case out of Arizona, famed WNBA star Brittney Griner recently filed to annul her marriage to fellow WNBA star Glory Johnson – just 29 days after saying “I do.” The announcement comes amid rampant rumors of domestic violence and relational issues on both sides – and promises to take an even more interesting twist as Johnson recently announced her pregnancy on social media, prompting her to take a one-year hiatus from the professional sports arena.
But how (and why) are annulments granted in Arizona? And are the factors different than those required for a divorce (i.e., irreconcilable differences)? Below is an overview of this process under Arizona law, as well as what to do if you are considering a divorce or annulment of your own marriage.
Annulment Laws in Arizona
Under Section 25-301 of the Arizona Revised Statute, a superior court in the state may issue an annulment of a marriage if “the cause alleged constitutes an impediment rendering the marriage void.” In other words, an annulment-eligible marriage is one in which certain factors are present to render the marriage void in the first place, including potentially:
• Mental or physical incapacity
• Invalid marriage license
• Relationship by blood
• Failure to disclose concurrent marriage
• Duress or fraud
• Misrepresentation as to a material fact, including religious background
While it is unclear precisely which ground(s) the parties in the above-described matter will assert in their case, the fact that it lasted only 29 days will not affect whether or not the marriage is subject to annulment.
If you are considering annulment or divorce and would like to speak to an experienced Phoenix, Arizona family law attorney, please contact Cohen Family Law by calling (602)714-8898.