For being underage, incompetent, incompetence, force, or duress, if the spouses continue to live together once the condition is gone, then the marriage won't be declared invalid for this reason. The statute is read to only allow a party to the defective marriage to initiate the suit. The only exception to this rule is a collateral attack after the death on a common law basis when "exceptional circumstances indicate fraud of the grossest kind" coupled without an apparent opportunity to detect or correct the inequity during the lifetime of the deceased spouse.
The petition must include the name of the spouses, the names of any dependent children, the location of the marriage, and the last time the parties lived together.
The Basics of Annulment in Washington
In addition to asking the court to invalidate the divorce, the annulment can also ask for other relief such as the division of property, alimony, child custody, visitation, or child support. After the petition is filed, the other spouse must be served with a copy. The judge in the Superior Court will hold a hearing so that evidence and argument can be presented to show why the marriage should be declared invalid.
If the judge agrees, then the court will enter an order called a "declaration of invalidity. If the marriage is declared invalid, then the court essentially finds that no valid marriage ever existed, although the court can still grant other forms of relief that typically result in a divorce such as the division of property, child custody, visitation, or child support.
Any children born in an invalid marriage are considered to be legitimate in Washington with the right to be supported by or inherit from the parents. Learn more about the procedures, findings, grounds, and the legitimacy of children.
Washington State Courts - Court Forms - Invalidate (Annul) Marriage
Find a sample form for the Petition for Declaration Concerning Validity. Meet the Attorneys Shana E. Law Offices of Shana E.
Attorneys for Annulment in Seattle, Washington Contact an experienced family law attorney in Seattle, Washington , to learn more about actions related to annulment or to have a domestic partnership declared to be invalid. Call to discuss your case today. Courts attempt to reach an equitable, or fair, resolution.
Declaring a Marriage Invalid in Washington
Generally, children born to a couple whose marriage is later annulled, are considered legitimate. In other words, after the annulment, both parties to the annulled marriage are the legal parents of a child, just as they would be had the marriage ended in divorce. Generally, there is no period of time e.
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Practical considerations, however, might make obtaining an annulment earlier, rather than later, a prudent idea. The longer a party or couple waits or decides to request an annulment, the more complicated it becomes for a court to equitably divide assets and work out child custody and support issues.
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A party who brings an action for annulment later rather than sooner may have a harder time presenting evidence. This is because, among other reasons, memories fade, details are forgotten, and witnesses may die or become unavailable, with the passage of time. Also, many people seek an annulment to escape a social or religious stigma of divorce.
The process of obtaining an annulment, or defending against a claim or one, can be time-consuming and difficult to navigate. You may therefore wish to consult with a family law attorney.
6 Surprising Washington Divorce Laws
The attorney can assess the facts and circumstances of your case, and advise you as to what an annulment proceeding entails. The attorney can also recommend options as to how to proceed, and can represent you at hearings. Law Library Disclaimer. Can't find your category? Click here. Child Custody and Visitation. Child Support. Spousal Support or Alimony. Please provide a valid Zip Code or City and choose a category. Please choose a category from the list. Please select a city from the list and choose a category.
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