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Annulments in Colorado
Sometimes a person seeks an annulment for religious reasons or (more likely but mistakenly) he or she may believe that an annulment is less contentious and less expensive than a divorce. Getting an annulment in Colorado is more difficult than getting a divorce because simply proving that the marriage is broken is not sufficient. A divorce legally ends a marriage; an annulment means that a marriage was invalid and that it never actually existed.
Colorado is a no-fault divorce state, so it may be easier to obtain a divorce than an annulment even though an annulment may be preferred. Instead, an annulment petitioner must prove one of the specific legal grounds, which are set forth in C.R.S. 14-10-111(1).
In Colorado, a party can petition for annulment if:
Many areas of Colorado family law apply to both an annulment and a divorce. Contested annulments may take as long to obtain as a divorce. Laws related to division of marital property, child support and alimony are all applicable to an annulment, and children born of an annulled marriage are still considered legitimate.
Statutes of limitation limit the filing of annulments. These are:
The procedures for a Colorado annulment are identical to those for a divorce or legal separation. Unlike divorce or separation, there is no requirement that one spouse is a resident for 90 days prior to commencing the annulment, and there is no statutory 90-day waiting period between commencement and the decree of invalidity of marriage. However, if the parties married outside of Colorado, at least one of them must reside in the state for 30 days before the annulment can be filed.
The standard of proof in an annulment is the preponderance of the evidence, which means more likely true than not true, or greater than 50 percent.
Pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-111(7), for a marriage that happened in Colorado, an annulment can be initiated at any time as described above.
To file, the petitioner completes the required paperwork - a domestic relations case information sheet, a petition for declaration of invalidity of marriage and a summons for declaration of invalidity of marriage.
He or she files the petition for annulment at the county clerk's office in the county where he or she resides.
The petitioner serves the other spouse if he or she did not file as a co-petitioner.
Other paperwork must be completed including the decree of declaration of invalidity of marriage, the certificate of compliance, the financial affidavit, the separation agreement and the mandatory disclosure, a parenting plan, support order and child support worksheet must also be completed.
At a hearing the court weighs the evidence, and the order or decree of declaration of invalidity of marriage is then sent by mail or email.
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