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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.

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