Sahuarita, AZ asked in Family Law for Arizona

Q: Pima, AZ, since filing/serving annulment papers, he signed consent decree/divorce. Should I motion for petition change?

I'm in Pima County, Arizona. 30 days ago I served annulment papers on my "husband," who lives out of state. Since then, he has signed Consent Decree for Divorce papers and sent them to me. Today is the no-response deadline and I can ask the court to move forward with dissolution. Should I continue with annulment, which is hard to win but I think I can prove he married me without intending to honor the marriage contract, or should I file a motion to change from annulment to divorce and submit the consent decree papers that he signed? I don't know which one is quicker and least painful for me. I just want out as soon as possible because he is living with a different woman. Thank you.

Background: I met respondent when he was incarcerated in California. For 9 years, I paid his way. I can show that the date his parole board hearing was published he connected with an ex girlfriend from 1993 and that he has been having sex with her since he was released from prison in July 2023.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: If your question is "which one is quicker and less painful to me, the answer is clear from a purely legal standpoint: Sign and submit the Consent Decree.

Annulments are very difficult to win. If you're claiming fraud, you have a high burden of proof, i.e., you have to present clear and convincing evidence. Legally, you're going to get the same place, which is that you will be single. (In an annulment, the Court can still divide up any property that has been acquired). The difference really, then, for an annulment, we act like the marriage never happened, and, in a divorce, we recognize the marriage occurred.

You just need to weigh out how important that is to you. Is it worth taking the risk an annulment would get rejected? Is it worth spending another 3-6 months, maybe more, in Court?

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