An annulment sounds more confusing than it is. If you were married and found that your union was somehow invalid or fraudulent, children born from the union would not disqualify you from seeking an annulment. An annulment isn’t like a divorce, which keeps the record of the marriage on file. An annulment erases the marriage from the legal system. Because of the difference between an annulment and a divorce, it’s important to realize you must prove the marriage meets the requirements.
According to Iowa, a marriage can be annulled for the following reasons:
- Incest: Incest involves first cousins or closer
- Impotence: A party is unable to consummate the marriage
- Bigamy: The marriage caused a bigamous situation to exist
- Incompetence: A party is incompetent or under the guardianship of another person at the time of marriage
- Underage: One or both parties is a minor
These are the hard and fast rules, and while there are some exceptions, they are not typical. For an annulment to be granted in Iowa, you must first file for one. The state will not invalid your marriage or investigate it to find out if it’s an invalid one, so the ownness is on the parties in the marriage.
How to Obtain an Annulment
To file for an annulment in Iowa, at least one member in the couple needs to have lived in the state for at least one year. The petition should be filed in the county court of the party’s residence.
Your petition should include the following:
- The party with Iowa residence for at least one year
- Each spouse’s name, birth date, and address
- The date of marriage
- Name and birth date of children from the marriage
- The legal grounds for the annulment
- Any request for temporary support
Once the annulment paperwork is completed and filed, the petitioning party will present their request to the judge, who will review the petition and sign and grant the annulment if the claim has been proven.
The Other Issues of Annulment
The children of an annulled marriage are still considered the legitimate children of both parties under Iowa law unless a DNA test proves the legal father is not biologically related to the children. This statute preserves the inheritance rights of the children that would have been lost otherwise. The court can decide to award spousal support to the innocent party in the case. If the marriage was executed in good faith by the innocent party, the court might award temporary support. Like in the case of children, annulments typically happen at the beginning of the marriage, so there aren’t usually many children or assets issues to resolve. If joint assets have been amassed, the court will divide these during the annulment hearing.
Thorough and Accurate Annulment Assistance
The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw PLC is committed to providing clients with thorough and accurate representation to resolve their legal issues and help them move forward in their lives. For parties seeking an annulment, our attorneys can help you work through the paperwork and file the necessary documents to get your case before a judge. Seeking an annulment in Iowa doesn’t need to be stressful or confusing. Attorney Hinshaw can help ensure your documents are in order.
The Law Office of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC, is available for consultations. You can schedule today by calling us at (515) 200-7571 or reaching out through our online contact portal.