State laws regulate the institution of marriage, which includes annulment and certain restrictions on who may get married. Every state has a list of conditions that disqualify a couple from getting married, including blood relations and bigamy.
States also have specific grounds for annulment, which allow for a quick end to the marriage without the expense or stigma of divorce. Annulment is the legal process of invalidating a marriage, a different process than divorce, which may be sought in Arizona if there is a previously undissolved marriage or for other reasons.
Annulment is a specific declaration or decision by a court that a marriage is invalid. Put another way, an annuled marriage is a marriage that never should have been allowed in the first place, so the process effectively "erases" the union as if it never happened. It's a nifty (and quite useful) undoing of a marriage without the long, drawn out process of divorce. Divorce, meanwhile, is the dissolution of a valid marriage.
Arizona annulment and prohibited marriage laws ban marriage between double first cousins (unless both are over 65 or one is not able to reproduce). Sound like a strange legal qualification to a statute? Well, it is.
Same-Sex Marriage in Arizona
What about same-sex marriages in the Grand Canyon State? In the past it was a no go on multiple fronts. The state legislature outlawed marriage for same-sex couples in 1996. Voters in Arizona approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2008. In 2014, four couples filed a lawsuit challenging Arizona’s ban, arguing that it violated equal protection and due process rights for gay couples.
In October of 2014, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled that Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The State Attorney General announced that they would not appeal the decision and instructed county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex applicants. Subsequently, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Obergefell v. Hodges, and ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage vioated the Constitution's equal protection guarantees, echoing the basis for the 9th Circuit's decision and making same-sex marriage available in all states.
The following chart highlights the main provisions of Arizona's annulment and prohibited marriage laws. See FindLaw's Marriage Law Overview section for additional articles and resources.
|Code Sections||25-101, 125, 301-302|
|Grounds for Annulment||Superior courts may dissolve and adjudge marriage null and void when cause alleged constitutes impediment rendering it void|
|Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment||-|
|Legitimacy of Children||-|
|Prohibited Marriages||Between parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, brothers and sisters, (half and whole), aunt and nephew, uncle and niece, first cousins unless both are over 65 or one is not able to reproduce|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Arizona family law attorney, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Arizona Annulment Laws: Related Resources
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