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Alaska Annulments
Annulments in Alaska

Alaska does not have an official court action called "annulment of marriage." However, a party may still ask the court to declare a marriage void. A void marriage was never valid from the outset because the parties did not have the legal ability to marry.

In Alaska, the difference between a void marriage and an annulled marriage is subtle. Once a judge says that a marriage is annulled, it becomes void - it's as though the marriage never existed; the marriage is called a "legal nullity." The Alaska court cannot award alimony or divide assets or liabilities as part of an annulment because the law considers a void marriage as never having been valid, and there cannot be a marital estate without a valid marriage.

The Alaska Code Section 25.05.01, et seq.; 25.20.050, 25.24.030 deal with voidable marriages.

Grounds

The Alaska court voids marriages when:

  • one or both partners were already married, which is bigamy;
  • the parties are related to each other more closely than third cousins;
  • one of the parties was a minor when he or she married, and he or she married without the consent of a parent or guardian;
  • one or both partners are seriously mentally ill;
  • one of the parties used fraud to manipulate the other partner to consent to the marriage;
  • one party used duress (which means force) to get the other to marry;
  • the parties did not consummate the marriage.

Limitations attach to some of these grounds. The court will not void a marriage if the partners freely lived together:

  • after the minor partner achieved a majority,
  • after their mental state improved,
  • after the defrauded party learned about the fraud,
  • after they were forced into marriage,
  • after having sexual relations.

A person contemplating voiding a marriage in Alaska should consult a lawyer. The court only divides the marital estate in the case of a divorce or separation, so there might be financial ramifications. Moreover, the partner may contest the action.

Procedure

The plaintiff, who is the filing partner, must be a resident of the state of Alaska.

Alaska has no forms for filing to void a marriage, so a party contemplating annulment should consult with an attorney.

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