An annulment can end a marriage, and may be an alternative to divorce, if there is a legal basis to seek an annulment. An annulment results in a declaration that the marriage is null and void, rather than dissolving it through a divorce. There are two types of marriages that can be annulled in NY.
Marriages that are Voidable
Marriages that were not legal and therefore were void from the start
Marriages may be voidable under the provisions of the New York Domestic Relations Law Section 7. Some grounds available for annulment under Section 7 are as follows:
Mental Illness – a condition which causes a mental illness for at least five years may support an annulment.
Inability to consummate – A reason, other than sterility, that the marriage cannot be consummated.
Underage Marriage – If under the age of 18, the parents of each party would have required the consent and signature of either parent. If lacking, this could support an annulment.
Duress/Fraud/Force – If the marriage was entered or induced by fraud, or otherwise was not accomplished under the free will of both or either party, the marriage may be annulled.
Incapacity - If a party was not mentally capable of consent, the marriage may be voided.
Void marriages are under New York Domestic Relations Law 5, 6 & 11. These include marriages that are incestuous or where there was a prior marriage, and where the marriage was accomplished through an individual not authorized to do so under New York law.
If you are considering an annulment, schedule an initial consult today, or call us today to speak to an attorney.