10 Oct 17

Can our marriage be annulled if it was never consummated?

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No, you may not obtain an annulment if the marriage was never consummated. Of course, there is one exception to the rule. Typically, to enforce a marriage, you and your spouse must have sexual intercourse after the wedding. In other states, if this does not happen, you can obtain an annulment.

An annulment is the act of voiding a legally valid marriage. It means the marriage never happened. You can go on to marriage someone else and consider that you first marriage. In New York, annulment falls into two basic categories: void categories and voidable marriages.

A Void Marriage is not Legal in New York

A void marriage is not legal in the state of New York. This means they are automatically void by state law. Marriages that fit into the void category include:

• Incestuous Marriage: This is a marriage between people who are related. It includes a brother and sister of either half-blood or full blood, an aunt and nephew or uncle and niece.
• A Deceased Spouse who is Alive: In this situation, a spouse thought their spouse was dead, but finds out later they are alive. This marriage would be void.
• A Sexual Act Occurred During the Marriage: If an individual solemnized in violation of New York DRL 11, that spouse could have their marriage voided.

Voidable Marriage are Legally Valid in the State of New York

The second category of annulments include voidable marriages. A voidable marriage is a legally valid marriage that can be terminated for a specific reason. It means the marriage is not annulled until you take the formal steps to make it happen.

To obtain an annulment for a voidable marriage, your marriage must fit into one of the following categories:

• Incurable Mental Illness: You or your spouse have a mental condition that will warrant an annulment
• Incapable of Consent: You or your spouse has a mental illness that does not allow you to understand you are making marriage commitment
• Underage: You or your spouse cannot get married because you are not the age of consent. The age of consent in New York is 18 years old. If you are between the ages of 15 and 16 years old, you must have the consent of your parents. Minors under the age of 14 years old cannot get marriage with or without parents’ consent.
• Force, Duress or Fraud: A marriage must be entered to because you and your spouse have the free will to do so. There is no fraud or false pretenses.
• Impotency: The inability to consummate the marriage makes the marriage voidable. The spouse must have an incurable condition aside from being sterile. This means that you can obtain an annulment if you never consummated the marriage. However, you or your spouse must have an incurable condition that causes impotency.

You can Seek a Divorce in New York if Your Marriage was Never Consummated

If your marriage situation does not include grounds of impotency and you cannot get an annulment, you make seek a divorce. A divorce is the legal end of a marriage. It can be done by the state of New York to be valid.

Grounds for divorce include:

• Abandonment: Your spouse abandoned you by physically leaving you
• Cruel and Inhuman Treatment: Your spouse subjected you to physical and emotional abuse
• Adultery: Your spouse cheated on you
• Separation: You and your spouse broke up, but not you want to legally end the marriage
• Irretrievable Breakdown: Your marriage is broken and cannot be repaired

Contact a Family Law Attorney about Ending Your Marriage

You want to end your marriage, but you are not sure if you can get an annulment or not. Contact us. We will listen to your side of the events to determine if you are eligible for an annulment or must seek a divorce.

You are not alone in the decision to end your marriage. We are here to advice you.

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