Washington state marriage anulment law

Supreme Court in 's landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case held that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, making same-sex marriage available in states that hadn't yet permitted it.


In Washington, an "annulment proceeding" is legally known as a "Declaration Concerning Validity of Marriage" hearing. 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. In order to obtain an annulment, you must be able to establish that you fall within one of the statutory exceptions that allows your marriage to be declared "invalid.

If a court finds your marriage to be invalid, it is as if the marriage itself never happened. Either spouse can file for a Washington annulment or declaration of invalidity. In the event that a spouse is married to more than one person, a child of the later marriage or any other legal spouse may also file a petition for invalidity. The basics of Washington's annulment and prohibited marriage laws are listed in the following chart. Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Washington family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law s you are researching.

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A domestic partnership between a couple does not prohibit that couple from obtaining a marriage license in Washington. Couples in domestic partnerships in Washington may marry each other. Until June 30, , Washington will continue to recognize all existing state registered domestic partnerships. If a couple registered as domestic partners chooses to marry before June 30, , their state registered domestic partnership will be dissolved as of the date of marriage.

As of June 30, , state registered domestic partnerships, where neither party is 62 years old, will be converted to marriage without any action by the couple. As of June 30, , state registered domestic partnerships, where at least one party is 62 years old, will not be converted to marriage, but remain as domestic partnerships.

If, as of June 30, , a state registered domestic partnership is in the process of dissolution, annulment, or legal separation, it will not be converted into marriage. If a couple in a state registered domestic partnership marries or if their domestic partnership is converted into a marriage, the legal date of their marriage for purposes of determining their legal rights and responsibilities will be the date they registered their domestic partnership in Washington. However, the date of the marriage ceremony may still be listed on the couple's marriage certificate.

If a couple from another state or country is in a valid legal union other than marriage, they will have the same rights and responsibilities as married spouses, while in Washington. If a couple from another state or country is in a valid legal union other than marriage, and become permanent residents of Washington, they will have one year to enter into marriage to retain those rights and responsibilities.


Attorney for an Annulment in Seattle, Washington

If a same-sex couple legally married in another state or country, their marriage will now be recognized in Washington. If a couple registered as domestic partners in Washington and also legally married in another state or country, the couple may inform the Secretary of State's office that their status should be changed from "domestic partners" to "married.

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The couple should include a cover letter that provides their domestic partnership registration number. Marriage Licensing - Additional Information Marriage License Application How to apply for a marriage license, fees, rules, and timelines Marriage License Packet Information on the paperwork, after application is accepted and processed Marriage Certificate Information on returning, searching for, or requesting a marriage certificate.

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