Getting Your Marriage “Annulled” in Colorado

You have heard about celebrities that got married, realized it was a mistake and then they got their marriage “annulled” a few days later.  Brittany Spears did that back in 2004 after being married for just a few hours! Kim Kardashian did it in 2013 after being married for 72 days.  Nicholas Cage wanted an annulment just a few days after getting married in 2019!

Colorado law is very different from other states with this issue.  In Colorado the courts do not use the term annulment at all; it is called having your marriage declared invalid.

Having your marriage declared invalid means that the marriage never happened.  That is different from a divorce where the court acknowledges that there was a marriage, and now it is dissolved.  There can be good reasons that one situation would be better than the other.

Colorado has very strict rules for when a court can grant your request to have the marriage declared invalid.  If your reason is not one of the reasons that the legislature lists in the statutes, you cannot have your marriage declared invalid.

The reasons that you may be able to have your marriage declared invalid in Colorado are:

  • One party lacked “capacity” to consent to the marriage such as a mental incapacity or infirmity or because they were influenced by drugs, alcohol or other substances.
  • One party lacked the physical ability to consummate the marriage and the other person did not know that prior to the marriage.
  • One party was underage.
  • One party entered into the marriage relying on a fraudulent misrepresentation of the other party.
  • One of both parties entered into the marriage under duress from some third party (think shotgun wedding here).
  • One or both parties entered the marriage as a jest or dare.
  • The marriage is prohibited by law (think brother/sister).
  • The marriage is void due to the laws in the place that they were married.

 

For some of these reasons there are time limitations requiring that you have to file your case within a certain amount of time.

 

If you have entered into a marriage that you would like to have declared invalid, consult with an attorney to see if your reason might fit into one of the statutory reasons and to see if you are within the time frame required by law.