What Is Annulment?

An annulment is a legal procedure that can dissolve a marriage or civil union. Getting an annulment is different than getting a divorce in that, if successful, an annulment means that the marriage or civil union never legally existed, whereas a divorce ends an existing legal marriage or civil union.

In order to get an annulment in New York, one of the spouses must prove that there was some sort of defect in the relationship from the beginning. Some grounds for annulment in New York include bigamy, mental incapacity, and force. If you think you might have grounds for an annulment in New York State, seek out professional help to explore your options.

Difference Between Annulment and Divorce

Annulment, which nullifies the marriage like it never happened, is an alternative to divorce that involves the legal nullification of a marriage contract. Whereas with divorce all states recognize that two individuals may agree for a period of time to establish a marital relationship together, then later decide to end their marriage - nullification of the marriage contract is not always as widely accepted.

Obtaining an annulment requires proving one of several grounds such as fraud or misrepresentation, while divorce typically only requires evidence that there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the marital relationship that has persisted for an extended period.

More specifically, under New York law, grounds for annulment include fraud or misrepresentation underlying either a valid consent to marry or other essential elements of marriage such as mental capacity or understanding, lack of physical capacity due to unsound mind, impotence and/or force, lack of legal age, preexisting marriage contract, and duress.

In each case where there is sufficient proof of any grounds existing at the time the parties entered into the marital agreement, New York allows annulment – rendering the marriage null and void like it never happened.

How To Get an Annulment In New York

If you are interested in filing for an annulment in New York, the process begins by gathering marriage documents and witness statements needed to file a claim. After gathering all necessary marriage documentation and witness statements, you will be able to file your annulment claim with the appropriate court.

Benefits Of Getting an Annulment Instead of A Divorce

A court order of annulment ends the marriage retrospectively in the eyes of the law, as if it never legally existed, whereas divorce legally divides and dissolves an existing, valid marriage. If a person wishes to end their marriage, then annulment can offer certain benefits over a traditional divorce.

Firstly, an annulment renders any marriage contract null and void. Secondly, unlike a divorce, the records of an annulled union are sealed from public view due to its declaration that the marriage never occurred. This can be comforting for individuals who wish for a more private process for terminating their relationship.

Additionally, individuals may find it easier to remarry quickly if they had obtained an annulment instead of getting divorced first. Depending on your situation and state laws, grounds for getting an annulment - such as bigamy or age restrictions - can include invalid consent or fraud regarding the marriage or external circumstances like religion or incapacity to give consent.

In NY specifically, recent changes have been made to the law allowing petitions for annulments to be filed within five years after discovering grounds exist for annulling the marriage. Regardless of why a person may choose to get an annulment instead of a divorce it is important that they understand all available options and clearly communicate with an attorney before proceeding with either one.

Why You Need an Attorney

While the process of annulling a marriage is relatively simple, it is crucial that individuals entrust their case to an attorney. A lawyer can help to ensure that the correct documents are submitted to the court and that their client’s best interests are protected at every step.

If you are seeking an annulment, contact Arnel Law Firm.