The annulment of a marriage is similar to a traditional divorce: it ends the marriage. An annulment is very different from a divorce. An annulment is a legal proceeding designed to declare a marriage to be void or invalid. Once an annulment is granted, it is as if the marriage never occurred. Individuals have sought a legal annulment to avoid having a divorce on their record. Only a court can grant a civil annulment. A religious annulment can only be granted by clergy or a church; it does not affect the legal status of a marriage.
Grounds For Annulment
There are a few laws in the state of New York covering the specific criteria for a legal annulment. An annulment can be granted if there was a previous marriage that was undissolved. One spouse was not of legal age at the time of the marriage. One spouse is no physically able to have sexual relations with their marriage partner. A person only consented to marriage because of force or fraud. A person was not mentally capable of consenting to marriage and more.
A person in New York seeking an annulment will have to go through a trial and a hearing in front of a judge. At least one of the grounds for the annulment will need to be proven before it is granted. A person will have to file the proper paperwork and provide evidence as well as documents and witnesses to support their grounds for an annulment.
Annulment Time Limits
In the state of New York, there are no time limits placed on trying to get a legal annulment. The reason is the marriage is not considered valid. The passage of time will not make the marriage valid.
Grounds Become Invalid
There are some situations which validate a marriage and eliminates the ability to be granted an annulment. If both spouses were underage when they married, and reach the age of consent, the grounds for being underage are no longer valid. The ability to obtain an annulment for fraud can be waived if the fraud is discovered by both spouses, and they choose to continue living as a married couple. Should a spouse who is mentally ill have a sound mind for a period of time, and their spouse continues to live with them, the marriage is considered ratified. In this situation, the grounds for an annulment based on mental illness are waived even it the mental illness returns.
How An Annulment Effects Child Support
If an annulment is granted, it will not impact the legal responsibilities of parents concerning any child born during the marriage. Any child born after two people are married in a legally accepted religious or state ceremony are legitimate. A marriage annulment will not change this situation. Established custody or child support will not change if a marriage annulment is granted.
After An Annulment
Should a New York court grant an annulment, the marriage is considered to be erased. The couple’s marriage, as well as annulment, will become part of public record. It’s also possible for the court to rule on custody as well as child support. Asset division between the two parties involved in the annulment will be determined by the court.
An attorney will be able to provide the necessary legal guidance when it comes to getting a marriage annulment. They will be able to identify the legal grounds for an annulment and know what evidence is necessary to prove it. An experienced attorney will also know how to properly present the proof in court and ensure an acceptable decision is granted by a judge.