Annulment Laws for the State of Utah

By Cindy Chung

Couples sometimes marry under unlawful or questionable circumstances that could later lead to the need for an annulment. Also, some spouses might prefer annulment over divorce for personal or religious reasons. To obtain an annulment in Utah, spouses must meet the legal standard set by the state's annulment laws. If a couple cannot qualify for an annulment in Utah, they have the option of bringing divorce proceedings.

Legal Significance

The process of divorce in Utah is similar to that of annulment, but the two options are distinct types of court proceedings. An annulment cancels the existence of a marriage as if the spouses had never married in the first place, while a divorce ends an existing marriage. Although annulment and divorce are separate types of court cases, both may result in similar legal consequences — they allow the spouses to become single, unmarried persons again. Utah judges can enter court orders for property division, alimony, child custody and visitation, child support and other legal issues as part of an annulment proceeding, just as the judge might do in a divorce case.

Statutory Grounds

Utah courts accept two grounds for obtaining an annulment: grounds set by the state's statutes and grounds established by common-law principles. The statutory grounds for annulment include: bigamy, i.e. one spouse was already married to another person; underage marriage, i.e. one spouse was not yet 18 years of age and a parent did not provide consent or, if marriage occurred after May 3, 1999, one spouse was not yet 16 years of age; same-sex marriage; and marriage between close blood relatives such as siblings.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Common-Law Grounds

In addition to the grounds established by statute, the Utah courts recognize other reasons for granting an annulment. A state court can grant an annulment if one of the spouses proves misrepresentation or dishonesty regarding an issue related to marriage. For example, a spouse may have lied about being single or being able to have children. A spouse may also request an annulment if the other spouse is unwilling to consummate the marriage through sexual relations.

Utah Annulment Procedures

The process to file for annulment in Utah is similar to the process required for a divorce. But unlike a divorce, an annulment does not include a residency period that requires the petitioner to have lived in Utah for a specific period of time. The person requesting the annulment must file the initial complaint, also known as the petition, with the local domestic relations court. The complaint may include the petitioner's preferences regarding legal issues such as property division, child custody, visitation, and financial support through alimony or child support. The other spouse has an opportunity to file response papers. The annulment does not take effect until the court issues a final order granting the petition.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Annulment Requirements in California

References

Resources

Related articles

What Is Colorado's Annulment Law?

In Colorado, a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage, commonly known as an annulment, terminates a marriage. An annulment is different from a divorce because, in the eyes of the law, a marriage never existed after obtaining an annulment. On the other hand, when a divorce ends a marriage, the marriage is recognized under the law to have existed prior to the divorce. Colorado statutes permit annulments under limited circumstances; the process for obtaining an annulment in the state is different from obtaining a divorce decree.

What Are the Laws About Annulled Marriages in Arkansas?

Annulling a marriage is a legal process that dissolves a marriage and results in a declaration that the marriage never existed. This differs from a divorce, because a divorce simply terminates a marriage, whereas annulment invalidates it. Family law is a topic governed by state law and Arkansas has established requirements for couples to get married, as well as processes and requirements to end those marriages.

The Annulment of Marriage Due to Abandonment

Abandonment by a husband or wife often causes emotional, financial and legal stress. The abandoned spouse may want to know whether abandonment can result in an annulment of the marriage. Although abandonment generally does not serve as grounds for annulment, an annulment may be possible if the abandoned spouse can establish other grounds to invalidate the marriage. In addition, spousal abandonment or desertion may become grounds for divorce.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to File for an Annulment on the Grounds of Mental Disability

If a husband or wife was mentally disabled at the time of the marriage ceremony, the other spouse may be able to file ...

Annulment Requirements

Divorce constitutes an end to a marriage, while an annulment deems a marriage never existed. Over time, however, the ...

What Is the Law for Annulments in the State of Oregon?

If you are contemplating an annulment of your marriage, you should know that grounds for an annulment are limited in ...

Getting a Marriage Annulled in New Orleans

Some spouses prefer annulment over divorce because of their religious beliefs or other personal reasons. When a couple ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED