Unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce. Some even end through an annulment, which essentially dissolves a marriage as though it never occurred. This is certainly no exception in Brooklyn or New York in general. An annulment is a legal process that allows a couple to end their marriage by having it declared void or invalid through the court. Some couples or parties within a married couple choose to go through an annulment due to religious reasons or for certain stigma they think a traditional divorce carries. It’s important to understand what comprises an annulment and how to get one if you are in Brooklyn or anywhere else in the New York City area and are considering this course of action.
What are the Grounds for an Annulment in Brooklyn?
The Brooklyn area of New York City and the state of New York, in general, recognizes five different grounds for an annulment. While a divorce can be granted due to irreconcilable differences, an annulment is different because one of the grounds must be proven. The grounds for an annulment include the following:
• One of both of the spouses was younger than 18 at the time the marriage took place
• One or both of the spouses lacked the mental capacity to consent to the marriage
• One spouse or the other is unable to engage in sexual intercourse to consummate the marriage
• One spouse or the other was mentally ill and that illness was incurable for at least five years
• The marriage was consented by one party due to coercion, fraud or duress
If one spouse was younger than the age of 18 or lacked the mental capacity to consent to the marriage, it means there was a lack of consent. Generally speaking, in order for a Brooklyn or any New York City marriage to be considered legal, both parties must be able to consent to it. However, if or both people continue living together after they turned 18, an annulment will not be granted.
If a person was threatened or forced into a marriage, they have a right to have that marriage annulled. In addition, if there is sufficient proof that one spouse or the other was intoxicated during the time the marriage took place, it is also considered grounds for an annulment.
If one of the spouses is impotent or generally unable to consummate the marriage, the marriage can be annulled. Another issue that the court will consider is if there was an agreement between the spouses to have children and that didn’t happen due to impotence or some other issue resulting in the marriage never being consummated.
In addition, if the marriage involves incest, two people who are closely blood-related, whether or not they were aware of the familial relationship, it’s grounds for an annulment. This can include family relationships such as siblings, half-siblings, aunts or uncles and nieces or nephews and cousins.
Annulments Granted Based on Religion
In some cases, a married couple might want to end their marriage through an annulment rather than divorce due to religious reasons. In general, when this happens, it is as though the marriage never existed in the eyes of the Church. With couples who are Catholic, an annulment can be granted if a diocesan tribunal determines that one is acceptable based on circumstances that took place during the marriage. Some grounds include maturity, honesty, emotional stability and appropriate motivation for entering into the marriage.
What are the Advantages of a Brooklyn Annulment?
There are certain advantages to getting an annulment in Brooklyn or anywhere else in New York. An annulment overrides the need for a divorce, which can be drawn out, tedious and highly emotional. An annulment can simply erase the marriage and leave both parties free of having to deal with all the issues that come up during a divorce. There is no division of property. However, if there were children during the marriage, the judge will decide on custody and child support.
What are the Disadvantages of Getting an Annulment?
Of course, there are also certain disadvantages to getting an annulment. One of the biggest is that they can be expensive. Another issue is that at least one spouse is required to prove that one of the grounds for an annulment existed during the marriage. It’s possible for an investigation to be performed, and there may be depositions, discovery and even a trial. Generally, reasons for an annulment can be more difficult to establish, unlike those for divorce.
If you are Brooklyn-based and are looking to annul your marriage, get in contact with an experienced Brooklyn annulment lawyer at your earliest convenience.