An annulment is different than a divorce, because an annulment makes the marriage null or void. This means that the marriage never happened. Contrary to popular belief, a couple cannot receive an annulment based on the short duration of their marriage. Instead, they must meet one of the following criteria before bringing forth an action for an annulment:
- One, or both, spouses were under the age of 18 at the time of marriage;
- Either spouse was unable to consent to the marriage due to a mental incapacity or impairment;
- Either spouse has been deemed to be incurably mentally ill for a minimum of 5 years;
- Either spouse is unable to have sexual intercourse or relations with their spouse; or
- The marriage was entered into by either spouse under duress, fraud, or coercion.
The party who files for an annulment, known as the Plaintiff, bears the burden of proving one of the qualifying grounds to be true and valid. This is often more complicated and time consuming than uncontested divorce actions. Amicable couples are encouraged to file for an uncontested divorce rather than an annulment if they are looking for a faster and less costly way to end their marriage.
It is important to note that New York is a “no-fault” state, meaning a specific reason for divorce doesn’t necessarily have to be listed in a filing. Couples interested in a “no-fault” divorce instead of an annulment need to be married for a minimum of 6 months before bringing forth an action, so they can swear to the court that their relationship has been in a state of “irreconcilable breakdown” for the legally allowed period of 6 months.
Don’t trust your annulment to just anyone. Retaining the services of an experienced New York City annulment attorney can alleviate the stress and confusion that often associated with this kind of sensitive case. Contact the team at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. to schedule a complimentary annulment consultation with our New York divorce lawyer today!