While a majority of people have heard the term “annulment,” many people erroneously assume that it is just another word for divorce. While both an annulment and a divorce are methods of ending a couple’s marriage, an annulment takes this a step further by declaring that the marriage never existed in the first place. Unlike divorce, an annulment cannot be pursued for reasons of irreconcilable differences. Annulments can only be sought if some aspect of the couple’s union is deemed to be illegal. If a couple does not meet the proper requirements for an annulment, they can still seek to end their marriage through means of a traditional divorce.
In the state of New York, the following are all acceptable reasons for an annulment:
- A spouse was still legally married to a previous spouse at the time of their marriage to their new spouse
- One or both spouses were under age 18 at the time of their marriage
- At least one of the spouses lacked the mental capacity to consent
- The couple is physically unable to consummate the marriage through intercourse
- The marriage is incestuous
- The marriage was completed under duress, fraud or coercion
- A spouse is deemed incurably mentally ill for a period of at least five years
There are certain circumstances, however, that can nullify a couple’s ability to seek an annulment. For example, if a spouse were underage at the time of their marriage but continued to cohabitate with their spouse after they had turned 18, they will not be able to seek an annulment for reasons of being underage. Additionally, if a spouse discovers fraud surrounding the formation of their marriage but continues to live with their spouse, an annulment on grounds of fraud will be prohibited. For couples who are looking to split, consulting with a skilled divorce lawyer is the best way to determine if an annulment is a valid option.
Contact Hedayati Law Group P.C. Today
If you are looking to annul your marriage, a Long Island family law attorney from Hedayati Law Group P.C. can walk you through the appropriate legal processes and help you pursue an amicable solution for your separation. Having more than 80 years of combined experience, our highly knowledgeable and trusted lawyers can provide the compassionate guidance you need to help you through this difficult time.
To find out more about how we can help, request a free consultation or call our office today at (631) 880-6440.