Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage

Time Limits on Filing a Proxy Divorce

Montana law creates the legal framework for a proxy divorce. The law is technically called a declaration of invalidity of marriage. First, you must meet certain criteria to qualify for a proxy divorce. Second, you must file within a certain period of time. If you’re wondering whether you qualify, the best way to find out is to fill out our online questionnaire which will then be reviewed by one of our lawyers who will get in touch to discuss your situation. Click here to fill out the online questionnaire.

Depending on the reason you qualify for a proxy divorce, you have different amounts of time in which to file.

If you are seeking a declaration of invalidity because of lack of capacity to consent because of mental incapacity or infirmity, you must file no later than 1 year after you learned of the described condition;

If you are seeking a declaration of invalidity because of lack of capacity to consent because of the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other incapacitating substances, you must file no later than 1 year after you learned of the described condition;

If you are seeking a declaration of invalidity because of lack of capacity to consent because of force, duress, or fraud, you must file no later than 2 years after you learned of the described condition;

If you are seeking a declaration of invalidity because of an inability to engage in sexual intercourse by either party, you must file no later than 4 years after you learned of the described condition;

If you are seeking a declaration of invalidity because a party was under 16 years of age or was 16 or 17 years of age and did not have the consent of the party’s parents or guardian or judicial approval, the case may be brought by the underaged party or the party’s parent or guardian, and must be filed before the time that the underaged party reaches the age at which the party could have married without satisfying the omitted requirement.

These are very important deadlines and must be followed closely. If you don’t meet the requirements of the deadline, the Court does not have the authority to grant you a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage (also known as an annulment or a proxy divorce).

If you do meet these requirements, remember that a declaration of invalidity of marriage is retroactive and reaches back in time to undo the marriage before it even starts. A normal divorce ends your marriage at a later time, meaning that legally you were married for a period of time. With a declaration of invalidity of marriage, you were never legally married. The judge’s order goes back in time and cancels the marriage before it even started.

If you want to know whether you qualify for a proxy divorce with a declaration of invalidity of marriage, fill out our online questionnaire and one of our attorneys will review it and be in touch to discuss your options with you. There is no obligation, and filling out the questionnaire is completely free. Click here to start your questionnaire now.