How Do You Get An Annulment in Washington State? (It’s not as easy as you think)

I’ve done a lot of divorces from short term marriages lately; and by short term I mean between 1 year and 6 weeks. When I get that first call from the divorce seeker they typically start by saying “I need a divorce. I’ve been married for __________ years/months/weeks. Wait! Is that an annulment because it’s so short? Does that mean I can be rid of him/her by the end of the month?” That’s not exactly how it works.

This is how it works:

  1. It is not called an annulment. It is called a “Declaration of Invalidity”.
  2. There are 7 ways to get one, none have to do with length of marriage:
    1. Jail bait need not apply. If the person you said “I do” to is underage, 18 to get married, or 17 with a parent’s consent.
    2. They practice that Sister Wives lifestyle. Is there another living husband or wife?
    3. You can’t be closer than Kissing Cousins. Incest will get you an annulment if you are related closer than first cousins.
    4. You can blame it on the a a a a a alcohol. If your S/O was mentally unable to consent to the marriage; insane, intoxicated, or incapacitated then you are in luck.
    5. Duress (I got nothing cute for this one). One spouse was coerced into getting married.
    6. The lie detector determined that was a lie. If you were defrauded by your love about something essential to the marriage.
    7. You can’t force it. If the marriage was based on threats or physical force.
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