Annulment: Declaration of Invalidity
In 1971 Colorado revised its approach to family law by adopting the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act. Not only did this law change divorces to dissolutions and gave us the concept of “No-Fault”, it also replaced the term annulment with “Declaration of Invalidity”. The approach that Colorado adopted narrowed the definition of an invalid marriage to the point that few people can end their marriages with a Declaration of Invalidity.
A marriage may be annulled (declared invalid) if:
1) A party lacked capacity to consent to the marriage at the time the parties got married because of mental incapacity of because of the influence of alcohol or drugs.
2) A party is unable to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse and the other party did not know of this inability beforehand
3) There was a fraudulent representation that went to the essence of the marriage
4) One or both parties entered under duress
5) One or both parties entered into the marriage as a jest or dare
6) A party was under age as provided by law and did not have consent of their parents or judicial approval
For reasons 1, 3, 4, or 5, an action must be brought within 6 months after the party bringing the action obtained knowledge of the described condition.
For reason 2, an action must be brought within 1 year after the party bringing the action obtained knowledge of the described condition.
For reason 6, the underage party, his parent or guardian may initiate an action within 24 months of the date of the marriage.
A marriage will be held "void" or prohibited by law if:
1) One of the parties is already married
2) It is a marriage between relatives
3) It is a marriage which is prohibited by law in the place were the marriage was contracted
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