Utah courts allow people to end unlawful marriages through a process called annulment. Complete this process, and your single status will be restored. Your wedding will be legally voided, as though it never happened in the first place.
Everything you need to know about annulment in Utah
An annulment can help you end an unlawful union in Utah. It’s an attractive option for people morally opposed to divorce, as it simply invalidates your marriage. When asked to identify your status on legal forms (like tax documents), you can legally say you’re single.
How is annulment different from divorce in Utah?
A divorce ends a legal partnership within the state of Utah. Something happened after your wedding day that made you want to end your union. A divorce makes your split legally valid.
An annulment voids an illegal marriage based on factors in place on your wedding day. You shouldn’t be married because of these issues, and you use annulment to fix your mistake.
What are the grounds for a Utah annulment?
Utah statutes include the following three reasons (or grounds) for a Utah annulment:
- One person was married to someone else on the wedding day.
- One person was younger than 18 on the wedding day and didn’t get permission from a parent, guardian, or the juvenile court system.
- The union involves close relatives (like siblings).
The rules are both narrow and strict. If you don’t meet one of these conditions, you can’t apply for an annulment in Utah.
What is the annulment process in Utah?
Typically, getting an annulment involves filling out a Complaint for Annulment form and filing it with the court in your Utah county. A hearing will be scheduled, and when it’s completed, your annulment will be granted. However, you should check with your local court to be sure of the procedure for your location.
During your hearing, you can address issues such as child custody, parenting plans, and child support. If you need this assistance, more forms will likely be required.
Is there a time limit?
Some states impose a time limit as to how long after the wedding a marriage can be annulled. Utah courts do not specify such a time limit.
Why should you consider an annulment?
If you attempt to get an annulment in Utah, keep in mind that it’s somewhat easier to get a divorce than an annulment in the state. The courts accept far more grounds for divorce, and information about divorce is more readily available than information about annulment.
That said, an annulment can help you invalidate a union that never should have happened in the first place. If you want to end your relationship without the taint of divorce, an annulment could be a good option.
How much does it cost?
Utah courts charge $325 in filing fees for divorce and separate maintenance. Once you find and complete your forms, you must cover this cost to start the process in motion.
If you can’t afford this fee, you can apply for a waiver. People receiving government benefits or struggling to cover basic necessities could qualify and start their cases for free.
Pros and cons of annulment in Utah
Should you choose an annulment or a divorce to end your Utah marriage? Understanding the pros and cons can help you make an informed choice.
Benefits of an annulment in Utah include the following:
- Less stigma: Some religious traditions frown on divorce. Annulment allows you to invalidate your marriage instead of ending it.
- Legal protections: You can address child custody, child support, and other critical matters during the annulment process. If you simply walk away from your marriage, it’s harder to wrap up these details.
- Freedom: At the end of your annulment process, you can get married to someone else immediately.
- No waiting: A Utah divorce comes with a mandatory 30-day cool-off period. Utah annulments don’t make you wait.
Drawbacks of an annulment in Utah include the following:
- Complexity: Utah courts publish forms and roadmaps to guide you in divorce. Little information exists to help you annul your marriage.
- Tight grounds: You must meet the items specified in Utah code before you can annul your marriage. There are far more options to help you end your marriage via divorce.
- Burden of proof: To annul your marriage, you must demonstrate why your marriage was illegal. That can mean revealing embarrassing details, such as incest.
Ultimately, both divorce and annulment are available in Utah, though some people won’t qualify for an annulment.
The right choice depends on your marriage, preferences, and personal details. In most circumstances, either option is better than walking away and remaining legally tied to your partner for good.
ReferencesAnnulment. Utah State Courts.
Filing/Record Fees (Court Filing, Transcript, and Record Fees). Utah State Courts.
Fees and Fee Waiver. Utah State Courts