If you lived for several years with the illusion that you were married and find out in the process of divorce that your spouse was still legally married the day you married him or her, you may want to consider an annulment of your marriage. The New York Court defines annulment as a “declaration that states that a marriage was never legally valid.” The New York City Bar Association lists the five reasons for annulment of a marriage, but annulment cases may be quite complex.
Our Brooklyn annulment lawyer understands the personal nature of family matters and is actively involved in the Brooklyn community. Our family law lawyer counsels and supports victims of domestic violence. While our law firm prefers dispute resolution on child custody, child support, and visitation, our annulment lawyer is equally skilled at drafting motions, challenging complex legal problems, and developing mediation strategies. The New York City Bar Association lists the following reasons for an annulment of a marriage:
- Underage spouse
- Low cognitive spouse
- Spouse’s mental illness
- Unable to consumate
- Married under duress
If a minor below the age of lawful consent marries, the minor’s parents can have their child’s marriage annulled if they were not consulted in the decision to marry. In New York City, individuals under the age of 18 years-old need written consent of both of their parents to marry. A judge’s approval in the form of a signed court order is also required for the minor to marry. If both parents and a judge did not approve of the marriage, the minor’s parents can have their child’s marriage annulled.
Marriage Under Duress
Marriage under duress may be a marriage to avoid deportation or to satisfy immigration laws. If a women tells you she is pregnant with your child and you later find out the baby is not your child, you may be able to have your marriage annulled because you were coerced under false pretenses to marry. If your spouse is diagnosed mentally ill after you married, you can annul your marriage after five years of marriage. Our law office can help you simplify your legal problems.
New York prohibits marriages to descendants of the same ancestor and between half- siblings, but same-sex marriage, though never really prohibited in New York, did not become legal until 2011. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled denying same-sex marriages unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges. New York marriage laws prohibit marriage to multiple husbands or multiple wives. There is no statute of limitations on your annulment if your marriage was never valid.
The good news is that, whether or not your marriage was valid, your children are entitled to the support of both parents. Child support and arrearages get complicated when you or your spouse has been married two or more times. Child custody, support, and visitation is usually determined after the annulment of the marriage. The moral of the story is do not get married until you are sure the ink is dry on an order of divorce.
In the case of Levenstein v. Levenstein, Mr. Levenstein was convicted of failure to pay child support just before he married his second wife. He remarried before he divorced his second wife. He was still paying child support to his first wife when he married his third wife. Our annulment law firm will strive for the best possible outcome in your case if your spouse was similarly irresponsible. In the Levenstein case, the judge awarded his third wife half of the child support arrearage paid to his first wife during their marriage. Unfortunately, the same judge reversed his decision on a Motion to Reconsider brought by Mr. Levenstein.
In Antony T. v. Rosemarie B. T., Rosemarie married her second husband Antony a month before her divorce from her first husband became final. Antony filed for an annulment, but Rosemarie filed for divorce. Rosemarie filed for $2,543.31 per month in temporary alimony and for Antony to pay the legal fees for the divorce. The judge granted Antony a summary judgment and declared his marriage null and void. The judge dismissed Rosemarie’s divorce complaint.
Both parties to an annulment are required to divide their property, assets and debt. The property which must be divided is all property acquired by each party while they were together. Case law demonstrates the complex nature of the division of property and debt. Judges intercede in the best interest of children from the current and previous marriages. The rules for the division of property acquired in an annulled marriage in Brooklyn are the same as the division of marital assets in the case of a divorce. Our multilingual law office offers free consultations in one of our three conveniently located New York City law offices. Our annulment law firm has 50+ years of experience and can help you simply your annulment.