An annulment can result in a marriage being declared void. According to Oregon law1, marriages qualifying for annulments must either be void – due to bigamy or polygamy – or voidable. Grounds for voidable marriages include:
- Fraud – While using fraud to trick someone into a marriage can be grounds for an annulment, fraud as grounds can be waived if, after learning the truth/finding out about the fraud, partners continue cohabitating.
- Coercion – Marriages obtained by force or the threat of force/harm also qualify for annulments in Oregon.
- Mental incapacity or incompetence – While these grounds for annulment may include mental illness or impairment, it could also include “temporary” incapacity due to, for instance, alcohol impairment.
- At least one spouse being a minor – If, however, after the minor spouse(s) turn 18 and (s)he (or they) continue living as a couple (of their own volition), this grounds for annulment may be waived or forfeited.
When annulments are granted, it is as though the marriage never existed in the first place.
How to File for an Annulment in Oregon
The following is a simplified overview of the annulment process in Oregon for voidable marriages2:
- The petitioner (i.e., the individual seeking the annulment) must complete the required court forms and submit them to the court, along with the required fee and supporting documentation (proving grounds for an annulment exist).
- The petitioner must have his or her partner served with a copy of the court filings, and service must be performed by a third party (i.e., not the petitioner).
- The party who has been served (i.e., the respondent) will have the chance to respond to the filing.
- If no response is filed, the annulment will generally be granted. If a response is filed, the case may be converted to a divorce case.
Oregon Annulments: More Important Information
- Residency requirements – In order to qualify for an annulment in Oregon, at least one partner has to have lived in the state for a minimum of 6 months (or the marriage has to have been performed in Oregon).
- Custody & support payment issues – Although annulments render marriages void, custody and support payment issues may still be a factor – and they can be a part of the final annulment order (based on the circumstances). This can make it critical to have an attorney’s representation so that your rights and interests are protected when important issues like custody and support payments arise.
Contact a Portland Family Law Attorney at Helzar & Cromar, LLP
If you are facing divorce or are dealing with any other family legal matter, you can turn to a Portland divorce attorney at Helzar & Cromar, LLP for aggressive, compassionate representation moving forward.
To find out more about our services and how we can help you, call us at (503) 626-2889 or send us an email via the contact form on this page. The attorneys at Helzar & Cromar provide the highest quality legal services to clients in Portland and Beaverton, as well as throughout the state of Oregon.
1: ORS 106.020. 106.030. 106.050. 107.005, & 107.015
2: Note that void marriages do not need to be annulled because they are fundamentally invalid.