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Colorado annulments end marriages in a different way than divorce. While the divorce process will dissolve a legal marriage, annulments will declare that the marriage was never valid to begin with. To get an annulment in Colorado, spouses must meet specific requirements and, then, pursue a case with the courts. Although annulments are not ideal for all couples, they can be a viable alternative to divorce, offering unique benefits in some situations.

At The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC, our Fort Collins family lawyers are skilled at representing clients in annulments, as well as legal separation and divorce cases. We can help you determine if an annulment is an option for you, based on your needs and objectives, and our team can provide superior representation and counsel whenever you are ready to take the next steps.

Call (970) 488-1887 or email our firm for a 100% confidential consultation. Phone and Skype consultations are available.

The advice you get as you consider your options and initiate your case can help you get on the right foot as you move forward.

What Are Grounds for Annulment in Colorado?

To get a marriage declared invalid in Colorado, one of the following grounds for annulment must apply:

  • Fraud: When the “essence of the marriage” is based on lies or misrepresentations, fraud may be used as the reason to declare that union invalid. This can occur in situations when immigration status changes or financial gain are the real motives for marriage.

  • Mental incapacity: This means that one spouse was not able to legally consent to the marriage due to drug and/or alcohol impairment or cognitive disabilities.

  • No consummation of the marriage: When the marriage occurred, one spouse was unaware that the other was not physically able to consummate the marriage.

  • Coercion: If either spouse agreed to and went through with the marriage because (s)he was under some form of duress, the resulting marriage can be deemed invalid.

  • Illegal marriage: In some cases, the marriage itself will violate state or federal laws. This can occur when marriages involve bigamy, incest, or underaged spouses who do not have parental (or guardian) consent to marry.

Here, it’s crucial to point out that each of these grounds for annulment can come with its own deadlines. In other words, Colorado law sets forth timelines to seek annulments, based on the reason for the petition. For example, those seeking to invalidate marriages in Colorado based on grounds that the marriage has not been consummated have to file a petition within 12 months of becoming aware of the issue.

How Do I Start an Annulment Case in Colorado?

Unlike other states that have legal actions called “annulments,” Colorado has a “Declaration of Invalidity” petition that, in effect, serves the same purpose. Here is a general overview of how to proceed with a Declaration of Invalidity in Colorado:

  1. Determine whether you need to wait to file: While annulments can proceed immediately when the marriage occurred in Colorado, those who were married outside of the state will need to establish residency by living in Colorado for at least 30 days.

  2. Complete the necessary paperwork: The court forms that need to be completed will depend on whether a couple is pursuing an annulment request jointly or whether one party is doing so individually. If only one party is seeking the annulment, that individual (the petitioner) will have to serve the other spouse with a copy of the filing.

  3. File the court forms and pay the necessary fees: A Declaration of Invalidity petition should be filed in the district court in the county where the petitioner or the respondent lives. Court filing fees for Annulment petitions in Colorado are $230.00 (in 2021); please be aware that court filing fees regularly change, so it’s best to consult the court for the most up-to-date information.

  4. A Case Management Order will be issued: Once the petition has been filed, this CMO will detail any additional documents or forms that need to be filed with the courts. It will also provide the date for the Initial Status Conference.

The Initial Status Conference for an annulment in Colorado must occur, by law, within 42 days of the filing of the Declaration of Invalidity petition. During this conference, a family court facilitator will typically explain the next steps in the case; however, they cannot provide legal advice.

How Can I Find Out More About Annulment & Divorce in Colorado?

Contact an experienced Fort Collins family lawyer at The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC. We are ready to listen, answer your questions, and explain your options. We are also ready to help you.

Call (970) 488-1887 or email our firm for a 100% confidential consultation.

At The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC, our Colorado divorce and family lawyers are dedicated advocates who are highly skilled at counseling people through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We know what can be on the line when a marriage is ending, and we know how to help our clients achieve their objectives.

Tireless and fierce, our team can provide the personal attention and practical, strategic solutions you need when it’s time to navigate the next steps and protect what matters most in the process. From offices in Fort Collins, we represent clients throughout Larimer County and the state of Colorado.

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