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6 Steps to an Alabama Annulment

 

Alabama is a state that does recognize annulments, upon the right grounds and qualification. The difference between an Alabama divorce and an annulment is that a divorce will only dissolve the marriage, meaning it is over in the eyes of the law, but still on file and record in the state in which it occurred. An annulment makes it as though a couple was never married at all. Alabama divorce law allows you to annul your marriage only under a few specific sets of circumstances.

Step 1

First, it is important that both parties establish grounds for an annulment. In Alabama, there are only six grounds under which you can get an annulment: If one spouse entered the marriage fraudulently; if one spouse was underage; if one spouse agreed to the marriage under duress; if the relationship is incestuous; if 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. You must petition the court and provide evidence backing up your claims; then you must attend a hearing in front of a judge, who will assess the claims put forth by both parties and assess accordingly.

Step 2

Prepare a petition for annulment using Alabama’s standard form. This form is available through the office of the court clerk, private websites and attorneys. The petition for annulment will ask you to list the names, dates of birth and addresses for each of the spouses and list your grounds for annulment. Once properly completed you will need to submit your petition to the Alabama Unified Family Court in the jurisdiction where either you or your spouse resides. You will also need to pay a fee to file, the fee is dependent on the rates of the court.

Step 3

You will need to have the annulment served to  your spouse or their attorney. In Alabama, you can serve the petition by delivering it to your spouse’s place of residence and leaving it with either the spouse or another adult at the home. Alabama does allow you to serve the petition using registered mail.

Step 4

Once filed, you need proof to show the courts that this has been done. File proof of service with the Alabama Unified Family Court. This proof may include an affidavit from your process server or a signed receipt indicating that you sent the petition by registered mail.

Step 5

In order for valid proof to be gathered, it is in your best interest to gather witnesses to back up your claims as far as the grounds for an annulment. If you are filing on grounds of duress, fraud, mental incapacity or other grounds which may not have written documentation supporting them, you may need to call in witnesses to support your case. If you call witnesses, you will need to issue them subpoenas asking them to appear in court.

Step 6

Attend the annulment hearing. At your hearing, the judge may ask you to explain the grounds on which you are asking to annul your marriage. After your hearing, the judge will determine whether you adequately meet the legal standard for annulment in Alabama. If the judge decides that you meet state requirements for annulment, they will sign an order voiding your marriage.

So there you have it. Remember to follow these steps closely in order to have the procedure go smoothly. All divorce forms and documents must be gathered and proper grounds must be had for the annulment.

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