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This article is by DelanceyStreet.com, a funding solution. The answer to whether you can obtain an annulment because your spouse was deported depends on the circumstances. An annulment is the act of legally voiding a marriage. This means according to New York law, you were never married. It is different from a divorce. A divorce is the legal end of a marriage. New York recognizes your marriage happened and that it is ended. You are free to marry someone else. According to Todd Spodek, our founding partner at our law firm, annulment is extremely difficult to get.
Annulment can Only be Obtained in New York because of Specific Circumstances
In New York, you can obtain an annulment under specific circumstances. For instance, a marriage is automatically voided by the state if blood relatives marry or your spouse was legally married to someone else at the time of your marriage. If you have a void annulment, you are not required to go through the legal steps to get the marriage annulled.
Voidable marriage are marriages based on something people wrong. New York has a specific list of reasons you can go through the legal steps of voiding your marriage. They include:
• You or your spouse was underaged at the time of your wedding. You cannot marry if you are younger than 18 years old unless you have your parents’ permission. If you are under 14 years old, you cannot marry with or without your parents’ permission.
• Mental illness. You or your spouse are incapable of understanding a marriage commitment. Also, you or your spouse has some mental defect that is not curable that will interfere with the marriage.
• Your spouse forced you to marry them
• Your spouse coerced you to marry them.
• Your spouse is impotent. Your spouse hid the fact they could not have sexual intercourse until after the wedding ceremony.
• Your marriage is based on a fraudulent act. This means your spouse committed fraud. This is not the criminal fraud, but a misrepresentation of fact.
You May Obtain an Annulment based on Fraud if You Did not Know about Your Spouse’s Immigration Status
Whether you can obtain an annulment often depends on whether if the circumstances involved one of annulment grounds. If the circumstances surrounding your spouse’s deportation was based on fraud, you may be able to obtain an annulment.
For instance, if your spouse lied about their immigration status, they have committed a fraudulent act. They may have told you they were a legal resident, but were not. If you knew they were not a legal immigrant at the time of your marriage, you may not use fraud as a ground for annulment.
Elements You Must Prove to Obtain an Annulment based on Fraud
To obtain an annulment based on fraud, you must prove to the state court:
• There is preponderant evidence fraud occurred. This means that more likely than not your spouse lied to you or omitted the truth to get you to marry them.
• You would not have married them if you knew about their illegal status or that they lied to them
• The annulment was file within two years after you discovered the fraudulent act
• You stopped living with your spouse after discovering the fraud
Contact a Family Law Attorney in New York Immediately for Help Ending Your Marriage
Your spouse is being deported. The federal government may have already deported them. If you think you can obtain an annulment, contact us. If you do not know whether you can end your marriage via an annulment, contact us.
Based on the information you tell us about the circumstances surrounding your marriage, we will determine how you can legally end your marriage. If circumstances make you eligible to end your marriage via a divorce, we can use abandonment as grounds to end your marriage.
You are not alone in this. We are here to help you take the next step in ending your marriage. Contact us immediately for help.