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.
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.
An annulment (also called “nullity of domestic partnership” or “nullity of marriage”) is the legal process to declare a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it’s retroactive. Annulled union is regarded as invalid from the start, almost like it’d never taken place. Another important difference between annulment and divorce is that divorce reasons are not too hard to establish.
Under New York law, some unions are void from their origin. These unions aren’t recognized as valid irrespective of how long the participants have been married. These are called void marriages. Although such a union is considered void from the beginning, it’s important to commence a process called “Actions to Declare The Nullity of a Void Marriage” with the Court.
Examples of void marriages are:
Incest – A union between two strongly related family members, including a brother and sister, and uncle and niece or an aunt and nephew
Bigamy – A union when one of the parties continues to be married to another person at the time of this union.
Under New York law, there are additional ways to void marriages, below are examples:
Physical Impairment – You or your partner has some sort of incurable physical impairment that’s directly or indirectly impacting their ability to have sexual intercourse.
Underage Union – One or both parties weren’t at the legal age of 18 at the time of the union. This can be annulled at the discretion of the Court, if the partner who’s under 18 wants an annulment. It won’t be given if the minor cohabited freely with the other party after reaching the age of 18.
Madness – One partner becomes incurably mad for five years or more after the union. The Court may include in this kind of annulment ruling a provision that features appropriate support, attention and upkeep of the handicapped partner for the life of that partner, payable from the property or income of the non-handicapped partner.
Force -If you’ve been driven into a union against your will, the marriage laws of New York is not going to acknowledge it.
Fraud – If your permission for the union was got by fraud or misrepresentation, you can get an annulment. Concealment of an significant content fact would constitute fraud.
What if your spouse lies about his name
Unfortunately, in most states this is not a valid reason for an annulment. In the states that would allow this reasoning to void a marriage, the accuser must show extensive proof that they were deceived. The process can be long and tedious, but many say the results are worth the effort. However, this is always grounds for divorce.
In many states, there are only a handful of reasons that would allow for a marriage to be annulled:
- Incestuous marriage: If the spouses are found to be blood related.
- Bigamous marriage: This occurs if it discovered that either one of the spouses is still legally married to another living person.
- The marriage was performed by someone who was not ordained or had the legal requirements to perform the marriage.
- Marriages involving an non-consenting or minor individual
- Examples of serious fraud: An example of this is if one partner lied to the other to gain citizenship.
Although, you should consult with a legal expert because each state’s law are extremely different.
There are two types of annulled marriages. Depending on the circumstances, some marriages will be voided and will have never legally existed. Others will be legal, but for some reason were cancelled by one of the individuals. An annulment will make a union immediately null and void. It doesn’t matter the length of the marriage, only the circumstances that have led to the request for an annulment.
While someone marrying under a false name is deceiving, it is usually not found to be a reason for a marriage annulment. However, you have been deceived and in most states this is grounds to seek a divorce. You may also have rights to receive property or monetary distribution. Many courts will investigate into the fraud attempted by the deceiving spouse. However, they will also look into when the fraud was discovered and how long you continued living in the marriage before seeking separation.
Before entering any union, it is in your best interest to have some knowledge of the person you are marrying. However, it is possible to be deceived and you should know that you have options. Whether your marriage is found to be legal or not, you should seek legal counsel immediately. Having an expert on your side will make sure you know your options and rights, no matter what your situation is.
An annulment could be the answer to the new beginning you need. Depending on the state, you are allowed to present your situation and see if you qualify for an annulment. There are several reasons that you want to legally void your marriage. Some says they are avoiding the stigma of divorce, religious beliefs, help recover from serious deceit or protect assets.