Annulment Attorney

Annulment Attorney

An annulment is a way of ending a marriage, similar to a divorce. However, unlike a divorce where you must wait up to one year before you can apply, you can apply for an annulment at any time after the wedding. It is important to note that if you apply for an annulment many years after the wedding, you may be asked to explain why there has been a delay in applying. If you are considering annulling your marriage, it is important that you understand the grounds for annulment, the cost and what the process involves before making a decision. A legal advisor can help you with this process.

In order to apply for an annulment, you or your spouse must have either:
• Lived in Utah for at least one year
• Held a permanent residence in Utah for at least six months
Some people may seek an annulment if there are religious reasons why they cannot or do not want to apply for divorce. However, you must show that the marriage was either not valid (void) or defective (voidable) for one of the reasons below.

Void marriages

A ‘void’ marriage is a marriage that is considered to have never been legally valid in the first place because:
• You and your partner are closely related
• One or both of you were under 16
• One of you was already married or in a civil partnership
In these cases, the law says that the marriage never existed so there is no need to apply for a formal decree to annul it. However, you or your partner may wish to seek official documents in order to obtain things like a financial order or to remarry in the future.
If your marriage was ‘defective’ it is considered ‘voidable’ if:
• It was not consummated
• You did not consent to the marriage (e.g. you were forced into it or you were intoxicated)
• The other person had a sexually transmitted disease at the time of the marriage
• The woman was pregnant by another man at the time of the marriage

Getting An Annulment

In order to annul a marriage, you must fill in a nullity petition form, which you can do at any time after the marriage. You must also fill in an accompanying statement confirming that what you have said in your nullity petition is true. A solicitor will be able to assist you with these forms. Then two copies will need to be sent to your nearest divorce court for consideration and one copy should be kept for yourself. Once the petition has been filed, your spouse must respond within eight days, either accepting or disputing the annulment. If they accept the annulment, then you can apply for a ‘decree nisi’ which is an official document that confirms that the court does not see any reason why the marriage cannot be annulled. If they dispute the petition, then you may need to attend court to make your case to a judge. Six weeks after receiving the decree nisi, you can apply for a decree absolute, sometimes called a ‘decree of nullity’. This is the final legal document that says your marriage has been annulled and will be needed should you wish to remarry in the future. The whole annulment process can take around six to eight months if it is uncontested. Contested cases may take longer and will require expert legal advice. It may be useful to seek mediation to avoid any lengthy and costly court disputes.

Legal Difference Between Annulment and Divorce

A divorce, or legal dissolution of a marriage, is the ending of a valid marriage, returning both parties to single status with the ability to remarry. While each individual state has its own laws regarding grounds for marriage annulment or divorce, certain requirements apply nationwide. An annulment case can be initiated by either party in a marriage. The party initiating the annulment must prove that he or she has the grounds to do so and if it can be proven, the marriage will be considered null and void by the court. The following is a list of common grounds for annulment and a short explanation of each point:

• Bigamy – either party was already married to another person at the time of the marriage
• Forced Consent – one of the spouses was forced or threatened into marriage and only entered into it under duress
• Fraud – one of the spouses agreed to the marriage based on the lies or misrepresentation of the other
• Marriage Prohibited By Law – marriage between parties that based on their familial relationship is considered incestuous
• Mental Illness – either spouse was mentally ill or emotionally disturbed at the time of the marriage
• Mental Incapacity – either spouse was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the marriage and was unable to make informed consent
• Inability to Consummate Marriage – either spouse was physically incapable of having sexual relations or impotent during the marriage
• Underage Marriage – either spouse was too young to enter into marriage without parental consent or court approval.

Depending on your state of residence, a divorce can be much more complicated than an annulment. Like annulment cases, each state has its own set of laws regarding divorce. In most divorce cases, marital assets are divided and debts are settled. If the marriage has produced children, a divorce proceeding determines custody of the children, visitation rights and spousal and child support issues. Each state can have either a no-fault divorce or a fault divorce. A no-fault divorce allows the dissolution of a legal marriage with neither spouse being named the “guilty party” or the cause for the marital break-up. Many states now offer the “no-fault” divorce option, a dissolution of a legal marriage in which neither party accepts blame for the marital break-up. In the absence of a “guilty party,” some states require a waiting period of a legal separation before a no-fault divorce can take place. For this reason, in addition to cases where one spouse wishes to assign blame, some parties seek to expedite the legal process by pursuing a traditional, “fault” divorce. A “fault” divorce is only granted when one spouse can prove adequate grounds. Like an annulment, these grounds vary from state to state, however, there are some overarching commonalities. These guidelines often include addition to drugs, alcohol or gambling, incurable mental illness, and conviction of a crime. The major grounds for divorce that apply in every state are listed below:
• Adultery – one or both spouses engages in extramarital relationships with others during the marriage
• Desertion – one spouse abandons the other, physically and emotionally, for a lengthy period of time
• Physical/Emotional Abuse – one spouse subjects the other to physical or violent attacks or emotional or psychological abuse such as abusive language, and threats of physical violence.

Your state law and particular situation will determine whether or not your annulment or divorce will be simple or complex. Familiarizing yourself with the laws for your particular state is the best way to learn what your rights are in the case of a marital dissolution and help you determine whether an annulment vs. divorce is right for you.

How Do I Qualify for an Annulment?

Unlike divorce, you cannot simply state “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for an annulment. You must prove a specific legal reason to be granted an annulment, and being married or in a registered domestic partnership for a short period of time is not a sufficient legal reason.

Misrepresentation or Fraud

One common reason for annulment is where there is a misrepresentation or fraud made by one party to another prior to the marriage. The most common misrepresentation is age: if one party claimed to be of a certain age, but was in fact younger, then the marriage would not be valid. Parentage may also be used to challenge the validity of the marriage. If a pregnant woman convinces a man to marry her under the assumption that the child belongs to the man, but it is later proven that the husband is not the father, then that false representation may be used to annul the marriage (note that this is based on a few state cases – not all states follow this precedent).

Legal Issues Addressed in an Annulment of Marriage

Like a divorce or a separation, there may be various issues that are addressed during an annulment of marriage. These can include:
• Division of assets and property between the partners
• Issues regarding child custody and visitation
• Name changes and other formalities
However, many annulments happen within a short time after marriage, sometimes within a year or a few months. Thus, in some cases the couple may not actually have any issues with joint property because they have not been together for very long. Each case will be different from the next.

What Other Options Do I Have Besides Annulment?

As mentioned, a marriage can be terminated through divorce or through a legal dissolution of marriage. If the couple needs a temporary “break,” they may wish to consider an option such as legal separation. Uncontested divorce may also be an option if both parties consent to the process and are willing to work with one another regarding the various legal issues involved.

Eligibility for an Annulment

A couple must meet the following requirements to qualify for an annulment:
• The marriage was forced on one or both of the spouses.
• One or both of the spouses were unable to make a clear decision because of the consumption of alcohol, drug use, or mental disability.
• One or both of the spouses were already married at the time of the wedding or the relationship was incestuous.
• The spouse(s) was underage at the time of the marriage.
• Either spouse was impotent at the time of the marriage.
• Information was withheld from either spouse such as children from a previous marriage, an unwillingness to have children, legal/criminal problems.

Benefits of an Annulment

There are various benefits of an annulment that extend past religious acceptance.
• Avoiding financial support: One of the typical requirements of a divorce is one spouse providing the other with financial support. This is often unavoidable, especially when one spouse works and the other does not. These payments can include child support, alimony, or spousal support. Those who decide to have their marriage annulled will no longer be required to help their former spouse financially since the marriage no longer exists in the eyes of the court.
• Debt is determined and divided: Most couples will accumulate some form of debt throughout their marriage. In the case of an annulment, this debt is divided equally between both parties. Any debt that was incurred before the marriage is given back to the spouse that accumulated it.
• Assets assignments: Property assets are typically split in half during divorce proceedings, but annulments are different. The property is given back to the party who originally purchased it.
Do I need a lawyer to file the paperwork for an annulment?
A legal annulment differs from a divorce in a very basic way. A legal annulment is a court decree that determines a marriage invalid from it’s inception. On the other hand, a divorce terminates a lawfully existing marriage. A legal annulment is a more complex legal process than most people realize. For this reason, if you desire a legal annulment, you need to seriously consider retaining the services of an experienced attorney to assist you with your case.

Annulment Not Favored

A legal annulment is not favored by public policy in Utah. There is a preference for courts to terminate marriages via divorce decrees or deal with marriage-related issues through legal separation proceedings. Annulling a marriage typically is permitted in rare situations. Case abound in which a person files for annulment only to have a court deny the request. These leaves a person with three options: remain in the marriage, seek a divorce, or seek a legal separation. As an aside, not all states permit legal separation.

Grounds for Annulment

The grounds for which the annulment of a marriage can be sought are limited. The laws do vary somewhat from one state to another. However, the underlying reasons for which a person can seek an annulment are generally the same across the country. The grounds for which a person can seek an annulment include incapacity at the time of the alleged wedding. In other words, one or both spouses were underage or mentally incapacitated at the time of the wedding. If a spouse legally is married to another person at the time of a second marriage, an annulment would be possible. Finally, grounds upon which a marriage can be annulled is if a person married a prohibited family member. For example, if first cousins wed, that marriage could be subject to annulment. All of the grounds for annulment have one factor in common. In each of these situations, a person was legally incapable of entering into a valid marriage. Therefore, the marriage was never valid. Keep in mind that state laws include certain time requirements for filing an annulment. If the time period expires, a person may be barred from pursuing a divorce and may be left seeking a divorce or legal separation.

Secular Vs. Religious Annulment

A person interested in having a marriage civilly annulled needs to understand the distinction between secular or legal annulment and the religious derivation. Civil or legal annulment is an action by the state declaring that a marriage was invalid at the time of its inception. If a marriage is legally or civilly declared invalid, the sacramental marriage status in certain churches is unchanged. Similarly, if a sacramental marriage is annulled by a church, that determination has no impact on the civil marriage. Two separate proceedings would be necessary to civilly and sacramentally annul a marriage. Three Christian churches utilize annulment to declare a sacramental marriage invalid. They are the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, and the Methodist Church. They each have their own procedures for obtaining a sacramental declaration of annulment in regard to a marriage.

Preparing Annulment Paperwork

The paperwork necessary to proceed with an annulment case must be precise. It must specifically set forth why the marriage was never valid in the first instance. The documentation must fully comply with the specific requirements of the annulment statute in your state. The failure to properly complete court documents needed in an annulment case can result in the doors to the court being slammed on a petitioner. The necessity to exactly prepare the necessary paperwork underscores the need for proper legal representation. Annulment court proceedings are also complicated. An attorney is in the best position to properly navigate an annulment case through court.

Retain an Annulment Lawyer Today

An annulment lawyer will schedule an initial consultation with you to discuss your case. During this appointment, a lawyer will evaluate your situation and advise whether or not an annulment is possible in your case. Legal counsel will also provide answers to your questions. He or she will also discuss all of your options regarding your marriage. As a general rule, an annulment lawyer will not charge a fee for this initial appointment to discuss your case.

Why Would I Apply For A Nullity?

The granting of an annulment makes a marriage null and void. Once an annulment has been granted, it is as if the marriage never existed. You would be free to marry another person. The circumstances that apply for you to be entitled to an annulment are limited and explored below.

One key difference between annulments and divorce is that you can apply for an annulment at any time after the marriage takes place rather than have to wait a year as you do with to apply for a divorce. Difficulties can arise if you apply to annul a marriage a long time after the marriage but if you think this may be a concern you should seek advice particular to your situation from a specialist family lawyer.

Meet With An Annulment Lawyer

When you need an annulment in Utah, please call the annulment attorneys at Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Attorneys West Valley City UT

Has Probate Been Applied For

Can They Garnish My Entire Paycheck?

Syracuse Utah Divorce Attorney

Pleasant Grove Utah Divorce Attorney

Antitrust Lawyers

Ascent Law St. George Utah Office

Ascent Law Ogden Utah Office

Annulments In Utah

Annulments In Utah

There are two ways to legally end a marriage—annulment and divorce. An annulment is a legal procedure which cancels a marriage. Annulling a marriage is as though it is completely erased, legally, and it declares that the marriage never technically existed and was never valid.
A divorce, or legal dissolution of a marriage, is the ending of a valid marriage, returning both parties to single status with the ability to remarry. While each individual state has its own laws regarding grounds for marriage annulment or divorce, certain requirements apply nationwide.
An annulment case can be initiated by either party in a marriage. The party initiating the annulment must prove that he or she has the grounds to do so and if it can be proven, the marriage will be considered null and void by the court.

The following is a list of common grounds for annulment and a short explanation of each point:
• Bigamy – either party was already married to another person at the time of the marriage
• Forced Consent – one of the spouses was forced or threatened into marriage and only entered into it under duress
• Fraud – one of the spouses agreed to the marriage based on the lies or misrepresentation of the other
• Marriage Prohibited By Law – marriage between parties that based on their familial relationship is considered incestuous
• Mental Illness – either spouse was mentally ill or emotionally disturbed at the time of the marriage
• Mental Incapacity – either spouse was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the marriage and was unable to make informed consent
• Inability to Consummate Marriage – either spouse was physically incapable of having sexual relations or impotent during the marriage
• Underage Marriage – either spouse was too young to enter into marriage without parental consent or court approval.

Depending on your state of residence, a divorce can be much more complicated than an annulment. Like annulment cases, each state has its own set of laws regarding divorce. In most divorce cases, marital assets are divided and debts are settled. If the marriage has produced children, a divorce proceeding determines custody of the children, visitation rights and spousal and child support issues. Each state can have either a no fault divorce or a fault divorce. A no-fault divorce allows the dissolution of a legal marriage with neither spouse being named the “guilty party” or the cause for the marital break-up. Many states now offer the “no-fault” divorce option, dissolution of a legal marriage in which neither party accepts blame for the marital break-up. In the absence of a “guilty party,” some states require a waiting period of a legal separation before a no-fault divorce can take place. For this reason, in addition to cases where one spouse wishes to assign blame, some parties seek to expedite the legal process by pursuing a traditional, fault divorce. A fault divorce is only granted when one spouse can prove adequate grounds. Like an annulment, these grounds vary from state to state; however, there are some overarching commonalities. These guidelines often include addition to drugs, alcohol or gambling, incurable mental illness, and conviction of a crime.

The major grounds for divorce that apply in every state are listed below:
• Adultery – one or both spouses engages in extramarital relationships with others during the marriage.
• Desertion – one spouse abandons the other, physically and emotionally, for a lengthy period of time.
• Physical/Emotional Abuse – one spouse subjects the other to physical or violent attacks or emotional or psychological abuse such as abusive language, and threats of physical violence

Reasons for Divorce or Annulment

There are different reasons for pursuing a divorce versus an annulment. At the core, ending a marriage is generally because one or both spouses want to leave the union. But, a divorce, which is much more common, is sought when the parties acknowledge that the marriage existed, and an annulment is sought when one or both of the spouses believe that there was something legally invalid about the marriage in the first place.

Divorce: Depending on state laws, there may be evidence required in order for a court to grant a divorce. Generally, a no-fault divorce, in which both parties agree to end the marriage, is becoming common, although the divorcing couples may still have disputes about property, finances, child custody, and more that must be settled through court orders.

Annulment: An annulment ends a marriage that at least one of the parties believe should never have taken place. If the marriage took place despite unknown facts, such as a secret child, or even a secret illness, it may be a marriage that is voidable. An annulment can also end a marriage if the marriage was not legal to begin with, making it void. This might occur if issues such as bigamy or incest made the marriage illegal.

After a Divorce or Annulment

Legal experts explain that, among the differences between the two types of marriage dissolution, the marriage is never considered to have legally happened after an annulment. In simple terms, An annulment essentially turns back time so that the act of marriage never happened. The main benefit of annulment is the law treats the marriage as if it never existed. It’s over, and there are no further issues to deal with. Divorce, on the other hand, may mean involvement with your ex-spouse for years to come on issues such as support, property division and raising children. Annulment isn’t for everyone. Only a small percentage of those who are married can even qualify for one.

Finances

After a divorce, spouses are often entitled to a certain number of years of spousal support, alimony, or a portion of each others’ profits or property gained during the marriage. With an annulment, in contrast, the parties are not really considered to have been valid spouses and are not entitled to these same rights.

Length of Time of the Marriage

Often, people assume that a very brief marriage can be ended with an annulment due to the short duration. However, legal experts disagree. While many states will not grant an annulment after a maximum length of time, there is not an automatic annulment granted to end a marriage because the couple wants to end it after a short period of time. Annulments are only granted when the marriage is void or one spouse misled the other spouse regarding a material fact prior to the marriage. Annulments are granted based upon very limited statutory grounds such as fraud, duress, mental incapacity such as (intoxication), failure to consummate, and incidents which involve prohibited marriages such as bigamy or close blood relatives. The length of the marriage is irrelevant when it comes to annulments.
Both types of marriage dissolution can be fairly complicated from a legal standpoint, requiring costly and lengthy legal proceedings. Yet, either a divorce or an annulment can also be simple and low-cost if both parties agree to end the union without too many disputes or disagreements about how to do so.

Religious Rules

Many religions that have guidelines regarding divorce and annulment. Often, permission is granted by religious clergy or by written guidelines. Obtaining permission to have an annulment or a divorce from your religious leaders is usually a completely separate process from the legal process. The rules regarding divorce and annulment in your religion often determine whether one, both or neither of the partners has permission to marry again within the religion or in a religious ceremony or to participate in religious rituals. A court of law may consider your religious marital status but does not have to recognize the religious determinations when making rulings about spousal support, property disputes, or any other legal issues. A family court judge may issue an annulment at the request of one individual, or at the couple’s mutual request. Generally, a judge will be inclined to grant the annulment request if the parties agree to an annulment, and to the reason(s) for why the annulment is sought, however, in many instances, only one party seeks an annulment. A party that seeks an annulment can do so by bringing an annulment action in family court. If the other person does not want an annulment or does not believe there are grounds for one, the judge will hold a hearing. At the hearing, the judge will consider evidence from both sides as to whether an annulment can be granted. Typically, these hearings are not held before a jury. Annulled marriages are regarded as though they never existed. Therefore, courts faced with how to divide assets in an annulment situation attempt try to leave the couple in the same financial it was in before the marriage ever happened. This means that if the parties did not have any marital assets, the parties will each be left with whatever money or property they brought to the marriage with them on their own. Sometimes, couples obtain shared property or assets before the annulment. Courts must decide how the property should be divided.

Generally, courts divide shared property, and shared debt, on an equitable basis, or equitably. In equitably dividing assets and debt, courts look at the facts and circumstances in each case. Courts attempt to reach an equitable, or fair, resolution. A fair resolution for both parties involves taking each party’s specific needs (including financial needs) and circumstances into account. Generally, children born to a couple whose marriage is later annulled are considered legitimate. In other words, after the annulment, both parties to the annulled marriage are the legal parents of a child, just as they would be had the marriage ended in divorce. If, upon annulment, there are child support and child custody issues, courts will generally apply the state’s laws regarding divorced couple child support and custody issues. Generally, there is no period of time (e.g., three years, ten years) after the marriage by which an annulment must be sought. Practical considerations, however, might make obtaining an annulment earlier, rather than later, a prudent idea. The longer a party or couple waits or decides to request an annulment, the more complicated it becomes for a court to equitably divide assets and work out child custody and support issues. A party who brings an action for annulment later rather than sooner may have harder time presenting evidence. This is because, among other reasons, memories fade, details are forgotten, and witnesses may die or become unavailable, with the passage of time. Also, many people seek an annulment to escape a social or religious stigma of divorce. Delay or wait in obtaining an annulment is, in effect, a delay in a person’s ability to remarry, whether they wish to do so consistently with their faith or for other reasons unique to the individual.

How to Be Eligible for an Annulment

While a divorce terminates a legal marriage, an annulment means that the marriage never existed legally. To qualify for an annulment, a marriage must be legally void or voidable. Void means that it is not valid, while voidable means that a court can declare it to be invalid if it is challenged. To be eligible for an annulment you must be able to prove one of the specific grounds to establish that your marriage is void or voidable. Otherwise, eligibility for an annulment is simple. However, many states require strict proof to declare an annulment.

Step 1: Meet one of the legal grounds for annulment. Although the grounds vary from state to state, several reasons for annulment are common to all states. If a spouse did not have the legal capacity or the legal intent to enter into the marriage, an annulment is possible. Some common reasons that a spouse does not have the legal capacity to marry include a preexisting marriage, mental incapacity or being underage. Another reason is consanguinity, or a marriage between close relatives, which is illegal.

Step 2: Determine if you were married without the proper intent, as an alternative to lacking the capacity to marry. A person who marries under fraudulent circumstances or under duress lacks the proper intent to enter into a marriage. For example, a person with false identity commits fraud if he marries someone who has no knowledge of his true identity. Another example is a sham marriage, in which the parties marry to deceive a government or corporate entity. A marriage that has not been consummated by physical relations can be annulled in some states.

Step 3: Be the innocent spouse in your marriage in order to file for an annulment. In some states and under certain circumstances, the wrongdoer in a marriage cannot be the plaintiff in a lawsuit for annulment. For example, if a man forced you to marry him under duress, he cannot file for annulment himself. Or, if you were tricked into marrying someone but remained married after you learned the truth, you cannot file for an annulment in many states because your actions retroactively approved the marriage agreement.

Step 4: Meet the residency requirements for the county and state where you seek an annulment. Usually, you or your spouse must have lived in the county for at least 90 days prior to filing for an annulment. Many states require a much longer period of residency. A lawyer or other officer of the court can tell you if you meet the residency requirements.

Step 5: Meet your state’s statute of limitations for annulment. For example, you might have to file within 90 days of the wedding ceremony, depending on the reason you are filing. You can find out if your state requires you to file within a certain time frame by consulting a lawyer, or you can look up this information in your state’s code of laws. You can usually find the state code online by conducting an Internet search or in a public library.

Annulment Attorney Free Consultation

When you need help with Annulments in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Boating Accidents

Marijuana Is Not Legal In Utah

Understanding Joint Legal Custody

Child Support

Divorce Modifications

What Is A Real Estate Offering Memorandum?

Ascent Law St. George Utah Office

Ascent Law Ogden Utah Office

Difference Between a Divorce and Annulment

Divorce is often used as a generic term for ending a marriage. However, not every marriage that comes to an end is the result of a divorce. Rather than opt for legal separation, countless people throughout Utah have chosen to end their marriage with an annulment. But what is the difference between a divorce and annulment? Because there are many myths about annulments, it is important to discuss them with a divorce lawyer. Let’s take a closer look at some of these differences.

Difference Between a Divorce and Annulment

SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION

Divorce is the process of terminating and dissolving a legally valid marriage. An annulment erases a marriage by declaring it null and void. Although the marriage is erased, the official records of the marriage are still kept on file. It is also important to understand that religious annulment are not recognized as a legal dissolution of a civil marriage.

IS YOUR MARRIAGE A MISTAKE?

Life doesn’t always go according to plan. There are many people who get married against their will or even without their own knowledge. Annulments are often seen as a “do-over”. It gives people the ability to turn back the clock to when they were single and wipe out the marriage. To receive an annulment in Utah, the marriage must satisfy the following conditions.

  • Misrepresentation and fraud:This happens when one party is misled into marriage. In some cases, a spouse may have lied to their partner or withheld important information. For example, some people are tricked into marriage by another person who is already married. Misrepresentation can also include a person’s inability to produce children.
  • Concealment:Unfortunately, it happens to far too many people in Utah. Many people suddenly discover their spouse has a criminal record or children from another relationship or have a sexually transmitted disease. When this information is kept from one partner, it can be grounds for annulment.
  • Misunderstanding:Many people enter marriage to have children and raise a family. However, some enter marriage under false pretenses. To receive an annulment on these grounds, the level of misunderstanding must be substantial.
  • Incest and impotency:If one party is unable to consummate the marriage, it can be ground for annulment. Any sexual act involving a sibling, grandchildren, first cousins, aunts, and uncles are grounds for annulment.
  • Lack of consent:For any marriage to be legally valid, both parties must have the mental capacity to consent to marriage. If a person enters marriage due to threats or is forced into marriage by drug or alcohol impairment, it can be grounds for an annulment.

WHAT IF YOUR EX SPOUSE ABDUCTS YOUR CHILD?

Child custody is one of the most emotionally charged aspects of divorce. When one parent loses the rights to their children, it can be devastating. In some cases, it can also bring out the worst in people. Once a divorce settlement is finalized, both parties are required to honor to terms of conditions handed down by the court. While most people abide by the laws of Utah family courts, there are others who take the law into their own hands. The results can be disastrous. Among the most serious is child abduction.

WHEN CHILD CUSTODY TURNS INTO KIDNAPPING

We have all seen movies about children being kidnapped and taken for ransom by the bad guys. But what if the bad guy happens to be your former spouse and one of your child’s parents? It can make the situation even more complicated. Police generally do not get involved in family disputes. But when it comes to domestic violence and kidnapping, it is vital to get law enforcement involved as soon as possible. In today’s Digital Age, Amber alerts have become a valuable tool to recover missing and kidnapped children throughout the country. Once a child abduction has been reported and confirmed by police, Amber alerts are immediately transmitted to smartphones and digital devices with an extensive radius of where the abduction took place.

TURNING TO A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR FOR ASSISTANCE

When a child is abducted, it is important to turn to as many legal resources as possible. Many parents in Utah have chosen to hire a private investigator. Although these services can be expensive, they can also be very effective. Unlike traditional law enforcement, Salt Lake City private investigators are able to devote more time to the needs of their clients.

THE BENEFITS OF RESTRAINING ORDERS

Many child abductions can be prevented by getting a restraining order. If you have an ex-spouse who is abusive, makes threats or is constantly stalking, obtaining a restraining order can be your best defense. With help from an experienced and knowledgeable Salt Lake City divorce attorney, obtaining a restraining order becomes much easier.

INTERNATIONAL CHILD CUSTODY DISPUTES

Perhaps the most complicated child custody matters are those that go beyond our borders. Unfortunately, once a parent abducts a child and flees to another country, the laws become more difficult to enforce. The best case scenarios involve fleeing parents that enter a country that has agreed to an international treaty with the United States. A prominent public official may be able to negotiate the safe return of your child. However, if a child is taken to a country without a treaty, it is the best contact an attorney that specializes in international disputes.

Free Consultation with a West Jordan Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce or annulment case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

What Should I Do Before Filing for Divorce?

Making a Trust

When is it too late for asset protection?

Discrimination and Harassment Claims

Divorce Filings High in January

10 Ways to Reduce Estate Taxes