What Is an Annulment and How Are You Granted One?
An annulment is a legal procedure that allows you to terminate a marriage. When an Annulment is granted, it is as though the marriage never existed. To obtain an annulment in New Jersey, you must demonstrate that you have a legal basis to get one. Several legally recognized reasons will permit you to obtain a civil annulment in New Jersey:
- Due to a mental condition or intoxication, you were unable to understand what you were doing when you got married
- You were threatened to get married
- You and your spouse are too closely related
- Your spouse was married to someone else when you got married
- Your spouse misrepresented their religious beliefs
- Your spouse fails to advise you that she is pregnant with another person's child at the time of the marriage
- Your spouse is dishonest about their desire to have children
- Your spouse lies about their drug issues
- Your spouse is an immigrant who lied to you to stay in the country
- Your spouse is impotent at the time of the marriage and failed to disclose this to you
- You or your spouse were under the age of 18 at the time you married, and since turning 18, you and your spouse have not had sexual relations
- Your spouse engaged in fraudulent conduct
What Is The Process of Obtaining an Annulment in NJ?
To obtain an annulment in New Jersey, you must first file a complaint seeking an annulment with the State Superior Court. Before filing your complaint seeking an annulment, you should speak with a New Jersey Family law attorney and obtain the appropriate legal advice. In your complaint seeking an annulment, you will ask the court to render your marriage void. Individuals seek annulments for various reasons, such as avoiding the stigma associated with divorce or religious reasons.
Most marriages that are annulled are very short in duration.
There is no division of marital property in an annulment because it is as though the wedding never took place. Possessions in your name will remain yours, items titled in your spouse's name will remain theirs. However, such issues as child custody and child support may be addressed. In the event your marriage is annulled, your children are still considered legitimate after the annulment. As such, an annulment is often more challenging to obtain than a divorce. If your spouse agrees to the annulment the process will proceed without the need for an evidentiary hearing. If your spouse contests the annulment, you will be subject to have a hearing before a judge. You will need to be able to prove the legal basis for the annulment. Suppose the court grants your request seeking an annulment. In that case, you will receive a judgment of nullity, which officially voids the marriage.
If you wish to defend yourself against a claim for annulment, you will need to try and disprove the facts as presented by the other party. For example, you may be able to demonstrate that your spouse is lying or that they are guilty and knew everything that they are now claiming to not know about concerning the grounds for the annulment.
To have your marriage annulled, you will need to demonstrate more than the fact that your spouse has lied to you. The burden of proof on someone seeking an annulment is high. Proving an annulment must be backed by clear and convincing evidence, which is a high standard instead of the preponderance of the evidence standard typically employed.
Religious vs Civil Annulments
Religious annulments are different than civil annulments. Obtaining religious annulments are purely spiritual and must be obtained either through the Church or other religious institution. You can find the full text of the law governing annulment in New Jersey at NJ Stat. Ann. Section 2A:34-1.
Is An Annulment The Right Solution For Your Situation? Talk To Us.
Suppose you are interested in obtaining an annulment. In that case, contact an experienced annulment attorney who the Supreme Court has approved of New Jersey as a Certified Matrimonial Law attorney. The divorce and family law lawyers at the Villani and DeLuca law firm will help get your annulment granted.