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There is a legal procedure designed to declare a marriage null and void. It is known as an annulment. When a marriage is officially annulled, it is determined to have been invalid and considered to have never taken place. A divorce proceeding is intended to end the marriage contract. The goal of an annulment is to have the marriage considered never to have existed. Our NYC divorce attorneys can help with this type of legal separation.

Civil Annulments
Annulments can occur as a result of people being put in situations where they shouldn’t have entered into a marriage. Civil annulments treat the marriage as if it legally never occurred. Doing this requires a person to have a very convincing reasons for an annulment to be granted.

Fraud or misrepresentation happens when one spouse lies about something. If this lie had been known prior to the marriage, it would not have taken place. This includes such things as being in a marriage to another person, not being able to conceive children, not being a legal age to consent to marriage, entering a marriage for the sole reason of gaining citizenship and more. All of these are situations that can annul a marriage because of fraud or misrepresentation.

Lack Of Consent
In order for a marriage to be legal, each spouse must have the mental capacity to consent. The consent to enter into a marriage must be voluntary. If either person was threatened or forced into being married, the marriage might be able to be annulled. If it can be proven either spouse was intoxicated or insane at the time of marriage, this could be grounds for an annulment.

Impotency Or Incest
When a marriage agreement is based on having children, and one spouse is incurably impotent, the other spouse has grounds for an annulment. This would only be a valid reason if the spouse was unaware of the impotence prior to the marriage. Should two individuals who are related too closely within their family group unknowingly marry, this marriage would have grounds for an annulment. This could include such relationships as whole or half-siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and more.

Religion Based Annulments
The criteria for getting a religious annulment are different from that of a civil annulment. In both cases, an annulment treats the marriage as if it didn’t exist. In the Catholic Church, it is a diocesan tribunal which determines if a religious annulment is granted. The tribunal decides if the marriage bond was lacking from its beginning. Either or both spouses are able to obtain an annulment if they can prove grounds. These includes maturity, appropriate motivation, honesty, emotional stability, ability to engage in a loving marital community and more. Should the diocesan tribunal grant an annulment, both spouses are able to remarry in the Catholic church. The legitimacy of children born from an annulled marriage isn’t questioned.

Advantages Of An Annulment
Many individuals benefit from an annulment because the law treats their marriage as if it didn’t happen. Once an annulment is granted, there are no further issues to deal with concerning the marriage. Courts usually do not divide property from a marriage during the legal proceedings for an annulment. Should children be involved in a marriage annulment, a judge will have to consider support and custody arrangements. Children born during an annulled marriage will still be considered legally legitimate. A marriage annulment does not impact any paternity rights or responsibilities.

Disadvantages Of An Annulment
It’s important to realize that proving the reason for an annulment can be a challenge as well as costly. In order for a civil annulment to be granted, a spouse will need to prove at least one of the grounds existed at the time the couple was married. Doing this could involve legal investigations, depositions, discovery as well as a court trial and more.