Annulment

This guide briefly discusses the concept of annulment as it applies to marriage laws in Washington State. All references are to materials for Washington State.  Visit either of the following web sites for definitions of the terms used here:

Generally

An “annulment” is the popular name for what Washington law officially calls a “Declaration Concerning Validity” of marriage. It is a way for the courts to cancel a marriage if they find that one of the requirements of a legal marriage was not actually present at the time the couple was married.

Where to Start

The laws concerning validity of marriage are found in the Revised Code of Washington at RCW § 26.09.040(4)(b). The statute says who can ask the court for a declaration of invalidity (annulment) and for what reasons the court can grant a declaration of invalidity (annulment).

Helpful Resources

King County Family Law Facilitators

The King County Family Law Facilitators has two different sets of instructions for declarations of invalidity: contested invalidity (instruction I-1) & agreed invalidity (instruction I-3). These instructions can be found on the Facilitators website. If you live in another county, start by contacting the family law facilitators at your local county courthouse.

books in the library

Washington Family Law Deskbook, 2d ed., § 10.7, shelved at KF 505.Z99 W36 2000 v.1 RES. The Washington Family Law Deskbook is an encyclopedia of family law and practice in Washington. The section on declarations of invalidity (annulments) is very brief.

Washington Practice, volume 21, chapter 48, shelved at KFW 80.W3. Washington Practice is a treatise on Washington law. The section on validity or invalidity of a marriage is more comprehensive than the Washington Family Law Deskbook.

Forms

Washington Law Help The Washington Law Help website has Washington State’s mandatory domestic relations forms. These forms can be filled out online if you have Microsoft Word installed on your computer. However, there are no instructions for annulments.

Washington State Courts The web site for the Washington State Courts has all of Washington’s mandatory domestic relations forms, including the forms to annul a marriage (declare a marriage invalid). However, there are no instructions with the forms.

If You Need More Help:

Guide to Family Law Clinics & Resources in King County

 

Links Updated: February 2, 2017

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