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Is Annulment an Option for Your Marriage?

Few people look forward to divorce, even when it’s amicable. Many people wish they’d never gotten married at all. If they’re eligible for an annulment, that wish can come true—at least in the eyes of the law.

Annulment doesn’t just end a marriage. It declares the marriage void, as if it had never happened. That often sounds more appealing than going through the divorce process. Read on to find out whether you qualify for an annulment in New York.

Grounds for annulment

You can have your marriage annulled if you meet any of these conditions:

  • One or both spouses were under 18 at the time of marriage,
  • One or both spouses lacked mental capacity to consent to marriage,
  • Either spouse is physically unable to have sexual intercourse,
  • Either spouse was incurably mentally ill for at least five years, or
  • Either spouse obtained consent to marriage through fraud, duress or coercion.

Some of these conditions can be waived through continuing to live together. It’s important to discuss your options with a family law attorney before you decide which actions to take.

Filing for annulment

To qualify for an annulment, you will need to file in civil court. Annulments require a hearing and trial before a judge, at which you will need to prove the grounds for annulment. For instance, your birth and marriage certificates can prove one or both spouses were underage at the time of the marriage. If the marriage is annulled, there is no division of assets and you cannot seek spousal maintenance. There are many factors that you must determine before seeking an annulment

Child support and custody

Annulment does not affect a child’s legitimacy if they were born during the marriage. Similarly, it does not absolve either parent of their support obligations or custody rights.

To find out whether annulment is an option for you—and what you’ll need to prove your claim—call the knowledgeable family lawyers at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP today.