Annulling a marriage in the State of New York can only be done under a very strict set of circumstances and it’s essential that you have a qualified Manhattan annulment lawyer at your side when embarking on this process. Annulment differs from divorce in a variety of ways and only certain types of marriages can qualify for an annulment. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position in which a marriage annulment is deemed necessary, review these basics of the annulment process in New York and then contact a skilled Manhattan annulment attorney right away.
Differences Between Annulment and Divorce
While a divorce ends a marriage but the marriage is determined by law to have at one point been valid, a marriage annulment in the State of New York essentially erases any traces of the marriage as if it never existed. This situation only occurs in extreme cases and the vast majority of marriages are not qualified for annulment. Yet in certain situations, the law in New York holds that the marriage should never have existed in the first place, and therefore it should not only be ended but also stricken from the record.
Grounds for Annulment in New York
There are a number of reasons why a marriage may be considered qualified for annulment. One of the more unfortunate circumstances is when a marriage is determined to be incestuous. The State of New York determines a relationship to be incestuous that exists between an ancestor and a descendant, meaning between a parent and a child or a grandparent and a child, that exists between brother and sister, or that exists between a niece or nephew and their uncle or aunt.
A marriage in New York can also be annulled if either spouse was under 18 at the time of the marriage, either spouse was unable to consent to the marriage due to a diminished mental state, or one of the partners of the marriage is not physically able to have sexual intercourse. A marriage can also be annulled if either spouse has been mentally ill for at least five years or if the marriage was obtained under coercion.
Under no circumstances does the State of New York hold a marriage to be valid if either spouse was already married to another living person at the time of the marriage. This is called bigamy and is one of the more common grounds for annulment. Lastly, if the marriage was performed by someone not recognized by the State of New York as having the authority to perform this rite, the marriage can also be annulled. While the types of officials recognized under the law as being capable of performing marriages vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, this authority is generally limited to ministers, members of clergy, judges, and various other officials. Determining if a marriage can be annulled is often a tricky process, so soliciting the services of a knowledgeable Manhattan annulment lawyer is strongly advised.
Annulling a Marriage in New York
The process of annulling a marriage in the State of New York is generally quite simple because, according to the law, the marriage never existed in the first place. While in some cases a declaration of nullity is not required or desired, submitting this document to the court system can sometimes be prudent if any one of a number of circumstances is at play. If you and your partner have any children, submitting a declaration of nullity is recommended. A declaration of nullity may also be required if you feel that you are entitled to alimony or if you need to separate jointly owned property.
If you feel that filing a declaration of nullity is warranted, it’s best that you and your partner sit down with separate Manhattan annulment lawyers immediately. It may also be necessary to gather evidence that the marriage is null and void before the contents of a declaration of nullity can be agreed upon by both parties. Once the declaration of nullity has been agreed upon by both parties, your attorney will generally submit it through the proper channels.
After the declaration has been submitted, a court date will be set for both you and your partner to appear before a judge. At this point, the marriage will be annulled and the stipulations of the declaration will be ordered by the court. Throughout the process of annulling your marriage, having a qualified Manhattan annulment lawyer at your side will make all the difference.
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