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The common misconception regarding annulment is the time frame in which it can be used as grounds for ending a marriage. Many people believe annulment cannot be used as a way of ending their marriage if they’ve been married longer than a few years, but this is not the case in New York. Anyone is free to file for an annulment no matter how long you’ve been married so long as you are able to cite one of the legal reasons for obtaining an annulment, which are outlined below.
What is an annulment?
An annulment is the end of a marriage. It’s not like divorce, however. Many people find the differences a little confusing, and that’s understandable. An annulment is like a divorce in the way that it does end your marriage. However, unlike a divorce, an annulment doesn’t end your marriage and leave you a divorcee or someone who will marry again to your second husband.
An annulment erases your marriage completely. You are immediately granted access to your former name, you are considered a single person in the eyes of the law, and your marriage is erased completely from all legal records. When an annulment is finalized, you are officially single and considered a never-before married person.
On what grounds may I file for an annulment?
The legal process of filing for an annulment is not the same as divorce. You might not want to be married to your spouse another moment, but you cannot simply erase your marriage on the grounds this was a mistake. You must meet one of the legal reasons for an annulment, though the most common reason is fraud.
– Fraud: Your marriage was entered into due the fraudulent activity of the other person such as one spouse telling you he or she wants kids but knows they have had surgery to make it impossible.
– Incest: If you married a close relative, it can be grounds for annulment.
– Mental Incapacity: If one or both of you were unable to make the mental decision to get married when you got married, you can file for annulment. A good example of this is you were in Vegas drinking heavily when you had the idea to get married. You were not in your right mental state when you made this decision.
– Duress: If you were forced into marriage, you can file for an annulment.
– Bigamy: If you find out your spouse was already married to someone else, you can annul your own marriage.
Fraud is the most common reason people file for annulment, but there are some stipulations outlined in New York law you must be aware of if you plan on annulling your spouse. You can get an annulment no matter how long you’ve been married to your spouse, but only if you file inside of three years from the time you discover the grounds for annulment. If you find out your spouse is still married to someone else, for example, and you wait 10 years after that to file for annulment, you may not annul your marriage.
Call an Attorney
The annulment process is long, arduous, and complicated. You cannot annul your marriage quickly and efficiently the way you might divorce someone in an uncontested divorce. This is a process that requires the help of someone who is familiar with annulment laws, procedures, and processes. If your marriage falls into a category in which annulment is legal, you’re obviously going through an exceptionally difficult time and need the help of someone who can ease a bit of pressure in this time.
An annulment is a very serious step taken to dissolve a marriage. Completing this step means that you are declaring the union invalid or void altogether. In most states, it’s very difficult to qualify for an annulment. Here is how you handle an annulment.
Legal grounds for annulment
There are limited grounds for annulment. If your spouse was married to another person at the time the marriage took place, you may have grounds for an annulment. If your spouse wasn’t of sound mind, you may also be able to perform an annulment. If the ceremony was performed under fraudulent circumstances, you may be able to annul the marriage. Here are additional scenarios in which a marriage can be successfully annulled:
• The marriage took place at a time when one person was underaged
• The couple was found to be related by blood
• One party was impotent or physically incapable of having sexual relations
• One spouse was already legally married before officially entering into the subsequent marriage
• The very premise for getting married was tied to a desire for one to remain legally in the country
• One spouse forced the other person to marry
Consequences for filing an annulment
In some states, alimony and child support may be an issue if an annulment is granted. This is because the state views the marriage as never having existed. This complicates the process of challenging matters regarding assets or child support. If you are filing for an annulment, it’s best to weigh the potential financial repercussions for taking this approach.
Where does the annulment petition get filed?
There are two locations where an annulment can be submitted. It can be requested in either county where one of two parties resides. The local district court is responsible for handling that petition. You need to consider the residency requirements if you’ve resided in a state for a limited amount of time. For example, if you have lived in an area for six months or less, you need to consider the states residency requirements. They can be anywhere between several weeks and six months.
What happens after the petition has been filed?
The other party has to be formally served with the complaint. The clerk of the circuit court will facilitate the process. Your attorney could also assist you with completing this process. If the whereabouts of the other party is unknown, you should work with an attorney to file the petition since this complicates the process.
Residency requirements and annulments
Generally, you should file your annulment action in the county where you live. Some states have residency requirements ranging from a few weeks to 6 months or more. If you moved recently, you’ll need to check your current state’s requirements and make sure you are a resident. If you file an annulment action before you meet state residency requirements, a judge can throw it out.
The petition process is a complex process. It’s difficult to qualify for an annulment. If you have matters involving property or alimony, you will need to address that in the submitted petition. Consulting an attorney is the best course of action if you have marital assets, child support or residency stipulations that may affect the outcome of your case.
Getting an annulment often feels like a much more mysterious process than getting a divorce. While divorces are often talked about and it seems like there is plenty of support for going through the process, there’s relatively little information shared about annulment. One of the most basic issues concerning annulments is the location at which the filing should occur. Most people wonder if they should file for the annulment where they live now, or if they should go back to where they were married. This question is a bit more complex than one might think, as it does involve more than just the preference of the individual filing for the annulment.
Generally speaking, one should get an annulment in the place where he or she lives. The vast majority of annulments that are granted are granted in the county of residence of one of the two parties to the marriage, and doing so usually has the advantage of being more convenient for the petitioner. After all, choosing to file in your own county means less time traveling and generally makes it easier to communicate with your attorney and gather any documents that might be relevant to the process.
With that said, it is not always possible to get an annulment in the place where you live. Many states have residency requirements for annulments just as they have residency requirements for divorces. As such, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve lived in the state long enough to qualify as a resident under the law. Remember, though, that this time counts for both parties so you might be able to get past the residency requirement if your former spouse has lived in the state long for the requisite period of time. If you neither of you has been in the state for long enough, though, you may have to look at another option.
If you have not lived in your current state long enough to satisfy the legal requirements for annulment, you may have to go back to the state in which you were married. This only holds true, though, if you were a resident of that state in the first place – those who had destination marriages within the United States are unlikely to be able to go back to this third-party state to get an annulment, as they would not meet the residency requirements of that state either.
When individuals have to go back to the state in which they were married to get an annulment, they typically do so because that is the state in which they meet the residency requirement. In some cases, this is because the residency requirement is shortened when you get married in that state, or because specific statutes allow for certain waiting periods to be waived if the marriage license was signed within the state. This can be incredibly complex, especially for those who have moved around a significant number of times in only a short period.
Matters can greatly be simplified if you take a look at the places of residence of both parties. If either party to the marriage meets the residency requirement in the new state, the annulment petition can be filed there. While filing in the place of the longest residence is not always the most strategically beneficial move for some, it can cut down on travel expenses and help to expedite the process of annulment by keeping everything close to home. Making this kind of choice does not, however, necessarily require the permission of the other party, though filing for annulment without mutual agreement can be more difficult.
If you are looking to file an annulment, it’s important to know where to go. Your best choice is usually to file in your county of residence, but you’re only able to do this if you meet the residency requirement. If you are unsure of where you should file or whether you meet specific residency requirements, you should meet with a qualified attorney. He or she will not only help you to figure out where you can file for your annulment, but he or she can provide you with the guidance you need to determine whether filing for an annulment is in your best interest and what steps to take next.
Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.
Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.
Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.
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