Invalidating and Annulling A Marriage

Can You Annul or Invalidate a Marriage?

Although this is a rare process, it is possible to obtain an annulment in Washington State under certain specific situations. Generally, annulments in Washington state are governed by RCW 26.09.040. 

To obtain an annulment, you must establish that you fall within one of the statutory exceptions that allows your marriage to be declared “invalid”.  If the court finds you marriage to be invalid, it is annulled and treated, for all legal purposes, as if it never happened. Either spouse, or guardian of an incompetent spouse, can file to invalidate a marriage. In the event a spouse is married to one or more persons, a child of the later marriage or any other legal spouse may file a Petition to Invalidate.

What factors are considered to invalidate a marriage?

Factors the court will consider include: age of one or both spouses, a prior undissolved marriage of one or both of the parties, a prior domestic partnership of one or both parties that has not been terminated or dissolved, reasons of consanguinity (kinship), or because a party lacked capacity to consent to the marriage or domestic partnership, either because of mental incapacity or because of the influence of alcohol or other incapacitating substances, or because a party was induced to enter into the marriage or domestic partnership by force or duress, or by fraud involving the essentials of marriage or domestic partnership.

Can you agree to invalidate a marriage?

Yes, it is possible to obtain an agreed annulment under Washington State law.

Does the Court have the power to order a parenting plan and maintenance?

Yes, the court has the jurisdiction and authority to provide for maintenance, parenting plan of a minor, and divide property.

Althauser Rayan Abbarno Attorneys

Althauser Rayan Abbarno attorneys offer a wide variety of legal services representing clients for divorce, parenting plans, child support, adoptions, domestic violence protection orders, and more. For a consultation with an Althauser Rayan Abbarno attorney in Centralia or Olympia, call (360) 736-1301.

Statutory Authority