Find a lawyer to help you answer your legal questions.

  • My Legal Briefcase

    How to get a marriage annulment in New York
    Posted: 2013-01-29 15:12:51


    Annulment and divorce are essentially the same thing - both legally end a marriage. The main difference between annulment and divorce is the grounds upon which you can receive such a judgment.  To obtain an annulment you must first consider if you fall under the grounds outlined that allow you to opt for an annulment over a divorce. The majority of people prefer annulments based on the fact that there is less social stigma attached to an annulment than to a divorce

    If you are thinking about getting an annulment to end your marriage, you have to consider these key factors. If any of these circumstances describe your situation then you may have grounds to receive an annulment:

    1. Your spouse is suffering from mental disability, or is incurably insane for five years or more.

    2. Marriage under the age of 18 can be annulled if the spouse is still under the age of 18.

    3. If either party is not capable of consummating the marriage, this is grounds for an annulment. This ground is difficult to prove -the physical ailment preventing consummation must be incurable there must be evidence to back this claim. You also have to prove you were unaware of this condition prior to getting married.

    4. The spouse was forced into a marriage against their will or was under duress by others.

    5. The spouse’s consent to marriage was gained fraudulently..  There is a time limitation to claiming fraud to nullify a marriage - you must seek annulment within 3 years.

    In order to be granted an annulment you have to carefully consider the statute of limitations, and the grounds upon which an annulment is available. If your circumstances meet any of the listed criteria you can apply for an annulment instead of a divorce.  If you do not fall into any of these categories you should consider getting a divorce instead.

    Keep In mind an annulment in the state of New York does not mean there will be no record of that marriage, it will remain on record.  Like a divorce the court is authorized to all the awards that are available in a divorce such as equitable distribution, child support, and custody.

    To file for an annulment in New York you need to file an annulment petition with a court clerk, serve the petition on your spouse to let him/her know that annulment proceeding has been started. Finally, you will need to attend a court hearing where a judge will make a decision about granting an annulment.

    Not from New York? Check out our other post How to get an annulment in California

    Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal advice.