How to Get an Annulment in Alabama

By Anna Green

Unlike a divorce, while dissolves a marriage, an annulment makes it as though a couple was never married. Alabama law allows you to annul your marriage only under a few specific sets of circumstances, but if you do meet the requirements, the annulment process is similar to that of a divorce. First, you must petition the court and provide evidence backing up your claims; then you must attend a hearing in front of a judge, who will assess the merits of your case.

Step 1

Determine the grounds on which you are seeking an annulment. In Alabama, there are only six grounds under which you can get an annulment: If one spouse entered the marriage fraudulently; if one spouse was underage; if one spouse agreed to the marriage under duress; if the relationship is incestuous; if either spouse did not have the mental capacity to agree to marriage; or if one spouse was already married to another person at the time of the marriage.

Step 2

Prepare a petition for annulment using Alabama's standard form. This form is available through the office of the court clerk, private websites and attorneys. The petition for annulment will ask you to list the names, dates of birth and addresses for each of the spouses and list your grounds for annulment.

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Step 3

File your petition. You will need to submit your petition to the Alabama Unified Family Court in the jurisdiction where either you or your spouse resides. At the time you submit your annulment petition, you will need to pay the court clerk a filing fee.

Step 4

Serve the annulment petition on your spouse or her attorney. In Alabama, you can serve the petition by delivering it to your spouse's place of residence and leaving it with either the spouse or another adult at the home. Additionally, Alabama allows you to serve the petition using registered mail.

Step 5

File proof of service with the Alabama Unified Family Court. This written proof may include an affidavit from your process server or a signed receipt indicating that you sent the petition by registered mail.

Step 6

Provide written evidence supporting your claims. For example, if you are filing for an annulment because you were underage at the time of your marriage, it may be appropriate to provide the court with a copy of your birth certificate.

Step 7

Locate witnesses to back up our claims. If you are filing on grounds of duress, fraud, mental incapacity or other grounds which may not have written documentation supporting them, you may need to call in witnesses to support your case. If you call witnesses, you will need to issue them subpoenas asking them to appear in court.

Step 8

Attend the hearing. At your hearing, the judge may ask you to explain the grounds on which you are asking to annul your marriage. After your hearing, the judge will determine whether you meet the legal standard for annulment in Alabama. If the judge decides that you meet state requirements for annulment, she will sign an order voiding your marriage.

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How to File an Annulment in California

In most states, if you have reason to believe that your marriage should never have happened, filing for an annulment is usually the easy part. The challenge of proving your grounds -- the reason you think the court should declare your marriage null and void -- is generally far more complex. California is a no-fault state, so you don’t have to prove grounds for divorce. If you seek an annulment instead, the burden of proof that your marriage shouldn’t have existed at all is more difficult to meet.

Conditions for Marriage Annulment in North Carolina

North Carolina, like most states, allows parties to obtain an annulment rather than a divorce. Qualifying for an annulment isn't easy, however. Certain conditions must be met. If a court finds that grounds for annulment are present, it will grant the request. Unlike a divorce decree, which ends a marriage that legally exists, an order of annulment treats the marriage as though it never existed at all.

How to Get a Civil Annulment

You have the option to terminate your marriage through a divorce but, under certain circumstances, you may be able to “undo” the marriage entirely. When the court grants you and your spouse an annulment, it declares the marriage invalid. This process nullifies the marriage as if it never even took place. Do not confuse a civil annulment with a religious annulment. Religious organizations, such as the Roman Catholic Church, may grand spiritual annulments declaring a marriage invalid. Should you choose to remarry in the future, you can then do so without violating church doctrine. A religious annulment, however, does not dissolve your marriage in the eyes of the law. A civil annulment is the only form of annulment that severs the legal ties between you and your spouse.

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