Annulment in Nevada

Posted: 30 June, 2022

An annulment in Nevada is one way of separating from a spouse. It dissolves the marriage so it effectively never happened. There are specific requirements a couple must meet in order to obtain one. It sounds simple in theory, but can get complicated and often requires the help of a family law lawyer.

You need to meet two different criteria for the state to grant an annulment. There must be grounds for annulment and you must also meet the qualification requirements.

Annulment Definition

An annulment is a dissolution of the marriage based on the grounds that the marriage should never have taken place.

It’s different from a divorce or legal separation in that the marriage essentially never happened. Divorce ends a marriage whereas an annulment voids it.

In previous generations, people preferred annulment to divorce because it came without stigma.

Grounds for Annulment in Nevada

There are a handful of valid grounds for annulment in Nevada. One of these must be valid to pursue the action.

  • You/your spouse were not fully aware of what was happening during the marriage ceremony
  • The marriage license is invalid
  • Fraud or some type of misrepresentation was involved in the marriage
  • You/your spouse did not intend to get married
  • You or your spouse were married to someone else at the time of the marriage ceremony

Occasionally the state adds additional grounds for annulment. If you would rather have an annulment than a divorce or uncontested divorce, it may be smart to contact a family law lawyer to see if there are any other grounds available.

Annulment Requirements in Nevada

If you have grounds for annulment, then one of the following factors must also apply to your situation.

  • The marriage took place in Nevada.
  • You or your spouse has lived in Nevada for at least 6 weeks
  • You are a member of the military, with Nevada being your state of record

Remember, you must have both requirements and grounds for annulment in Nevada. Otherwise, you may have to seek a divorce.

The Annulment Process in Nevada

The annulment process is relatively straightforward. When a couple has grounds for annulment in Nevada, the process goes through the followings steps.

  1. Establish grounds and requirements for annulment in Nevada
  2. File a Complaint for Annulment with the court.
  3. The court processes the Complaint for annulment and serves it to the other spouse. (If the other spouse contests the annulment, the case may take longer to resolve.)
  4. The court decides whether to grant the annulment. If granted, the court will sign a final Decree of Annulment.

On paper, this seems like a simple process, with few steps. It can be more complicated in practice, however. Working with a divorce lawyer can ensure you are able to get an annulment for ending your marriage.

Annulment Papers

To do the annulment yourself, you can get the annulment paperwork from the Clark County self-help website.

Make sure to carefully read the instructions and strictly adhere to what they tell you. If you are having trouble with the language or how to answer some of the questions, contacting an attorney can help.

Annulment vs. Divorce

An annulment and a divorce are slightly different. A divorce ends the marriage in the eyes of the government. An annulment means the marriage never existed.

Some people feel there is a stigma attached to divorce. An annulment is a way to avoid that because instead of the world seeing your marriage as over, an annulment says it should never have happened in the first place. This can absolve either party of guilt in many minds.

Yet the primary difference in the eyes of the law is that marriages which qualify for annulment are not valid marriages. The government recognizes the marriage until annulment, but there is something that should have prevented the couple from getting married.

Annulment FAQs

These are the most common questions from clients looking for an annulment in Nevada.

How long does an annulment take?

There are one-signature annulments and two-signature annulments.

When both spouses sign the annulment, the process becomes much faster. For two-signature annulments, the wait is between one and three weeks. Even then, it mostly depends on how busy the courts are.

For a one-signature annulment, the process takes 8 to 12 weeks.

What about an annulment of a marriage with children?

Either the spouses or the courts will need to determine child support and child custody. Even though the marriage (legally) never took place after the completion of the annulment, the children are still legitimate.

What if I don’t meet the requirements for an annulment?

If you have no grounds for annulment (or in the case of a minor marrying, too much time has passed), then your only other option is to seek a divorce.

Talking to a divorce lawyer can help predetermine whether your grounds and reasoning for an annulment will stand up in court.

Do I have to have a lawyer for an annulment?

Like divorce, you are not strictly required to get the help of a divorce lawyer for an annulment.

Annulments can be complicated if you and your spouse have been married for some time. From child support issues to making sure the asset division is fair, an attorney can make things easier.

Can my spouse contest the annulment?

Contested annulments exist, but they’re rare. Most spouses either sign the annulment or do not sign at all and the court grants the annulment by default.

If one spouse contests the annulment, then both spouses must present their evidence in court. The evidence is proof that situation meets the grounds and requirements. A judge will make the final decision on whether to grant the annulment.

Can the wife change her name back after the annulment?

When you have a marriage annulled, the marriage never happened in the first place. At least, it never happened in the eyes of the law.

The wife may change her name back to her maiden name as part of the annulment. The husband may not perform a name change until the court finalizes the annulment.

Any questions on getting an annulment in Nevada that we didn’t answer? Give us a call at (702) 914-0400 today.