Annulments can be religious or civil in nature. The terms and procedure for a religious annulment will depend on the individuals and their religion. However, a legally valid annulment can only be granted through the Arizona court system. It is not generally used as a substitute for divorce and is only granted when the marriage meets the limited criteria for an annulment.
Arizona annulments are regulated by statute. Under A.R.S. § 25-301, “the Superior Courts may dissolve a marriage, and may adjudge a marriage to be null and void when the cause alleged constitutes an impediment rendering the marriage void.”
This essentially means that in order to have a marriage dissolved through an annulment, the marriage would have to be voidable at the time it was entered into. This is a very limited set of circumstances where a marriage is voidable because it is not recognized under state law. This includes:
“Marriage between parents and children, including grandparents and grandchildren of every degree, between brothers and sisters of the one-half as well as the whole blood, and between uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews and between first cousins, is prohibited and void.”
However, first cousins may marry if at least one is over the age of sixty-five, or upon proof that one of the cousins is unable to reproduce.