When your marriage isn’t quite the happy union that it ought to be, what comes next? Depending on your circumstances, pursuing an annulment might be the best option, but it’s not right for everyone. Here’s what you should know about how things work in Nevada and why talking to an experienced Las Vegas annulment attorney is the best way to initiate the process.
An annulment is a legal order that declares a marriage as null and void. Whereas a divorce legally terminates an existing marriage, an annulment strikes it from the record of history as if it never occurred.
Such drastic changes aren’t taken lightly, so in Nevada, judges can only grant your annulment request for certain reasons. Valid grounds might include
- When one spouse committed fraud to get the other to marry them.
- When one spouse didn’t understand what they were doing because they were mentally incapable of comprehension.
- One person already being married to someone else.
- Spouses being closer than second or half-blood cousins.
- A spouse getting married without parental consent while they were between the ages of 16 and 18, provided that they file within one year of their 18th birthday and no longer live with the spouse as a couple after reaching 18.
Getting the Annulment Process Started
Anyone who believes that their situation fulfills at least one of the previous requirements can file an annulment with the court. To do so, they’ll need to fill out paperwork including a cover sheet, summons and annulment complaint. Then, they’ll need to file the completed forms and serve the defendant, which is their spouse.
This last step is important because courts don’t serve spouses in annulment proceedings, and failing to handle it on your own might get your case thrown out. According to the rules, you’ll need to work with an impartial third party, such as your local sheriff or a private company, to get the paperwork served.
Filing annulment paperwork is about more than just filling in the blanks and paying the appropriate fees. It’s critical to work with a Las Vegas family law attorney so that you can collect the correct evidence in support of your motion. Annulment lawyers can also help you find acceptable process server companies to get the paperwork to your spouse within the required 120-day window following your initial filing.
Like marriages, splits don’t always go perfectly according to plan.
Your spouse could file their own paperwork within 20 days after being served, or your case might go to court without them showing up. No matter what happens next, it’s critical that you retain legal representation that helps you stay on your feet in the face of new challenges. To learn more, contact an experienced divorce lawyer at LJ Law today.