Does Washington Allow Annulment?
“Annulment” is not a term used in the state of Washington. Instead, the courts use the term “invalidity.”
When you file for invalidity, it makes it as though your marriage never happened. Either spouse is allowed to file for invalidity. In addition, if one spouse is married to more than one person, a child or spouse of the subsequent marriage can file.
Invalidity is rarely used in Washington, as it applies only under very specific circumstances. You get file for invalidity if your spouse is alive, one of you is a resident of the state of Washington, and:
- One spouse was underage at the time of the marriage
- One spouse was underage and didn’t have parental approval at the time of the marriage
- One spouse was already married to another person
- One spouse was incapable of consenting to the marriage because of:
- Mental incapacity
- The influence of alcohol or other substances
- Force or duress
- Both spouses are related by blood
It’s important to note that courts will only grant a petition for invalidity until after one of the above conditions ceases to apply. This means, for example, that if two people—one of whom was underage—continued to live together after the minor spouse turned 18, the marriage would no longer be invalid.
For more information about divorce in Washington, visit WashingtonLawHelp.org, or give us a call.
When ending your marriage—either by a dissolution (divorce), legal separation, or invalidity, it helps to have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side. The Law Offices of Jason S. Newcombe can help you navigate the complicated legal process. Feel free to contact our Tacoma, WA office today.