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Alabama Annulments
Annulments in Alabama

Alabama law permits annulments only under a few specific sets of circumstances, and the annulment process works like a divorce. First, the plaintiff petitions the court and provides evidence, and then he or she attends a hearing where a judge assesses the merits of the case.

Annulments are described in the Alabama Code 13A-13-1; 30-1-3; 30-1-19.

Grounds

In Alabama, the petitioner may file for an annulment if:

  • one spouse entered the marriage fraudulently;
  • one spouse is underage (14 years);
  • one spouse agreed to the marriage under duress;
  • the relationship is incestuous;
  • 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.

Procedure

The petitioner files a petition for annulment using Alabama's standard form, which is available through the office of the court clerk, private websites and attorneys. The petition lists the names, dates of birth and addresses for each of the spouses and the grounds for annulment.

The petitioner serves the annulment petition on the spouse or his or her attorney. The petition may be delivered to the spouse's place of residence and can be left with either the spouse or another adult at the home. Additionally, Alabama allows service using registered mail.

Proof of service is filed with the Alabama Unified Family Court. This written proof may include an affidavit from the process server or a signed receipt stating the petition was sent via registered mail.

The petitioner must provide evidence to support the grounds. For example, a birth certificate may be used to support a claim of an underage marriage.

Witnesses may also be used to back up claims. Calling witnesses requires subpoenas asking them to appear in court. At the hearing, the judge may ask for an explanation of the claims for annulment. After the hearing, the judge determines whether the petitioner meets the legal standard for annulment in Alabama. If so, the judge signs an order voiding the marriage.

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