Annulment of a marriage, in many ways, is not very different from divorce. For example, an annulment is a court decision that dissolves a marriage. On the other hand, an annulment is different in that it essentially invalidates the marriage so that in legal terms the marriage never existed.
Why do People Seek an Annulment in a New York Marriage?
One of the reasons many New York residents seek annulment over divorce is due to religious rules that sometimes prevent members of a religion from remarrying after a divorce, but after annulment — which means that the marriage was never valid in the first place — it is possible to remarry in certain faiths.
In order for a couple to be granted an annulment, usually at least one of the following circumstances needs to have occurred:
- Fraud or misrepresentation: An annulment may be granted if a spouse lied about being able to reproduce, lied about his or her age, or failed to explain that he or she was still in a previous marriage.
- Concealing information: This situation applies in circumstances where a spouse failed to reveal important information about having a substance addiction, being convicted of a felony or spending time in jail, being a member of a gang, committing criminal activity, having a sexually transmitted disease, or failing to reveal other health-related information.
- Refusal to consummate a marriage: If one or the other spouses refuses to engage in or is unable to have sexual relations with the other spouse, then it can be legal grounds for annulment of the marriage.
- Misunderstandings about having children or other misunderstandings: When one spouse does not fully understand the fact that the other spouse does not want to have children, or when there is another kind of major miscommunication about the marriage arrangements, it can also result in annulment.
These days, an annulment is not as common as divorce, but if one of the above situations applies, New York spouses may be able to get a marriage annulled rather than engaging in the divorce process. There are other reasons that could exist for annulment as well, so divorcing spouses may want to question their divorce lawyers about the topic.
Source: FindLaw, “FAQ Regarding Separation and Annulment Law,” accessed Oct. 07, 2016.