Can I petition for annulment if my husband already filed for dissolution of marriage?

I will answer this question based up on the law of the state of Utah, which is the jurisdiction in which I practice divorce and family law.

Yes, you can, IF you qualify for an annulment. If your spouse files for divorce, you can countersue for annulment IF, and only if, you qualify for an annulment.

Before we go any further with this question understand this (because many people don’t understand this): divorce or annulment is not an option for everyone. Some people who are married cannot quality for an annulment. All valid marriages can be terminated by divorce. Not all marriages can be annulled.

What factors must be met to qualify for annulment? Black’s Law Dictionary ((11th ed. 2019), Bryan A. Garner, Editor in Chief) explains it this way:

An annulment establishes that the marital status never existed. So annulment and dissolution of marriage (or divorce) are fundamentally different: an annulment renders a marriage void from the beginning, while dissolution of marriage terminates the marriage as of the date of the judgment of dissolution. Although a marriage terminated by annulment is considered never to have occurred, under modern ecclesiastical law and in most states today a child born during the marriage is not considered illegitimate after the annulment.

To obtain an annulment one must establish that the marriage was void from its inception. While a divorce ends a marriage, an annulment usually has the effect of declaring that no marriage occurred and so it is effective retroactively, meaning it never happened as a matter of law.

One cannot obtain an annulment except on the grounds recognized by law for an annulment. There are different grounds in different jurisdictions, but some of the common grounds are: fraud, coercion, bigamy (already married to someone else at the time of the second purported marriage), being under the age of consent, marriage between close relatives (parent and child, siblings, in some jurisdictions, first cousins), mental incapacity, intoxication, knowing one is infertile but concealing the fact at the time of the marriage, being impotent and concealing that at the time of the marriage, intoxication, refusal to engage in sexual intercourse, misrepresentation as to religion, having a sexually transmitted disease at the time of marriage, and the woman was pregnant by another man at the time of marriage).

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

Eric Johnson’s answer to Can I petition for annulment if my husband already filed for dissolution of marriage? – Quora

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