There are two things you need to check on before you file an annulment in Nevada. First, you must know if you are eligible. Second, you need to know if you have grounds for an annulment in Nevada.
WHAT KIND OF ANNULMENT DO YOU NEED?
An annulment, one filed “ab initio,” which means from the beginning, voids a marriage from the time of the marriage ceremony. From a legal point of view, it’s as if you never married to begin with.
In Nevada, 75% of annulments are filed “ab initio.” Unless you were in a long-term marriage and own property together, and, or, had children together, your attorney is likely to file an annulment “ab initio.”
Before you can even consider filing either type of annulment, you need to know if you are eligible to file. If you married in Nevada, you’re in luck: you can file one without first becoming a Nevada resident. Got married outside Nevada, but you currently live here? You’re good to go. However, if you were married outside Nevada and don’t live here now, you will need to first become a Nevada resident. Nevada considers anyone who has lived in the state for a minimum of six consecutive weeks a resident.
GROUNDS FOR AN ANNULMENT IN NEVADA:
Another thing you’ll need before you can file an annulment is grounds for an annulment, a reason considered valid by the court. Nevada has a fairly broad section regarding grounds for annulments compared to many other states.
Below is a short list of the grounds to get an annulment in Nevada. For more details, go to https://nevadaannulment.org/grounds-for-annulment/
- Either you or your spouse was married to someone else at the time of your marriage.
- A marriage is void if you married a close blood relative, such as your immediate family, or a first cousin.
- If you are under the age of 16, you need parental consent from at least one parent. If you did not obtain it, you are eligible to file an annulment based on this reason.
- Want of understanding: this means that, at the time you entered into the marriage, you were not in your normal state of mind. This could mean you were intoxicated, or you were under the influence or either legal or illegal drugs that affected your thinking process.
- Fraud or misrepresentation: if your spouse lied to you about certain things that hit at the core of the marriage, you are eligible to file an annulment in Nevada. This could be anything from having had a hysterotomy or a vasectomy before the marriage, yet planning to have children with your soon-to-be-spouse without telling him or her about it, to owing a ton of money to the IRS and not telling you before the marriage (even if the debt occurred before the marriage, the IRS can take the money from you . . . yeah.)
- Grounds for declaring the marriage contract void in equity. This could be a promise to live with you after the marriage, or a promise to have children with you after the marriage, and then being reneged upon.
PROCESS TO OBTAIN AN ANNULMENT IN NEVADA:
There are two ways to file annulments in Nevada:
- In some of our court districts, you can file a joint petition annulment. This requires that both you and your spouse sign the annulment documents.
Once the joint petition is filed, it’s just a matter of waiting to see if the judge will grant the annulment and sign your final decree of annulment.
- In other districts, you can only file a complaint for annulment. Even if you both agree to the annulment, you must file a complaint, and your spouse must file an answer. If your spouse doesn’t agree to an annulment in Nevada, you still file a complaint to get the process started.
If your spouse did not sign the annulment documents, he or she will have to be served with the complaint and the summons. Is your spouse a Nevada resident? He or she will have to be served by a professional process service. If your spouse lives outside Nevada, he or she can be served either by a disinterested third party, or a marshal’s office. Does your spouse reside outside the U.S.? Depending on whether that country has opted into the Hague Convention, he or she can be served by a disinterested third party (no Hague Convention), or by a professional process service (Hague Convention).
Whoever has served your spouse must sign and file an affidavit of service which explains the date, time, and who was served the annulment documents (anyone over the age of 14 residing with the Defendant can be served and it is considered that the Defendant was served). This document must be notarized and must follow the court’s rules explicitly or it will be rejected.
Once your spouse has been served, he or she has 21 days to respond by filing an answer. If they do not respond, and the judge grants the annulment, your decree of annulment will state that the annulment was granted by default, meaning your spouse did not respond. It is assumed that if your spouse does not respond, he or she doesn’t object to the annulment.
Should your spouse file an answer and counterclaim (this means your spouse denies the reason for which you are filing an annulment, or wants different terms as far as property division, for example) the court will set a date for a case management conference, usually within 90 days. A case management conference is essentially a mandatory mediation. The judge expects your attorneys to help you come to a compromise to avoid a trial. An annulment trial is costly, so avoid one if possible.
Sometimes, even if your spouse has signed the annulment documents, a judge will want to hold a “prove up hearing.” This isn’t the same as a trial. It is for the judge to hear from you directly on why are you requesting an annulment, or to clarify things about your complaint or affidavit (another document you have to file along with a complaint for annulment).
If there is no hearing or trial because your spouse signed the annulment documents, and your judge grants the annulment, you will generally have your final decree in a matter of days or a few short weeks. We rarely see this taking longer than three weeks. How long it takes depends on how busy your judge, or the court, is at the time of the filing of your annulment.
If your spouse did not sign the annulment documents, and did not contest the annulment, it will take approximately 8-10 weeks for the annulment to be completed, provided the judge granted it.
If your spouse contested the annulment by filing an answer that denies the allegations in your complaint (the grounds for the annulment), it could take some time. Again, it will depend on how busy your judge or the court happens to be at the time of your filing, or at any point during the process.
Ready to move forward? Find out how to do that over here: https://nevadaannulment.org