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An annulment is an invalid marriage. An invalid marriage means the couple were never legally married. It does not matter if a marriage license was issued and marriage ceremony was performed. An annulment is different than a divorce. A divorce is a legal end to a marriage. Both spouses were legally married, and the marriage was recognized by state law.
If you were married, but you believe your marriage is invalid, you may be able to obtain an annulment according to New York law.
Long Island Annulment Grounds
In two specific circumstances, your marriage can be voided without you having to request an annulment hearing. Voided marriage are ones that involve bigamy or incest. Bigamy involves a person being legally married at the time they marry someone else. Incest involves marrying a blood relative such as siblings marrying each other.
All other types of annulments are considered voidable. New York can void a marriage and invalidate it according to specific grounds.
One myth in Long Island is that an annulment is available if you and your spouse did not consummate your marriage. To consummate your marriage means you and your spouse did not have sexual intercourse. Another myth is that you can obtain an annulment if you were only married for a short time such as a day or couple of months. These two myths are not grounds for an annulment.
The specific grounds for an annulment are:
• Fraud. Your spouse lied to you or omitted some truth. Based on this information, you married your spouse. You have three years from the day you married to use this annulment grounds.
• Force. Everyone must have freewill to marry another person. If they are forced to do so, this will invalidate the marriage.
• Underage. You were underage at the time of the marriage. It is legal to marry at 18 years old. If you were younger than 18 years old and did not have the permission of your parents, you can obtain an annulment. However, there is an exception. If you live with your spouse after you turn 18 years old, you are not eligible for an annulment.
• Mental incapacity. Your spouse was declared insane for five years in your marriage.
• Physical incapacity. Physical incapacity refers to your spouse being unable to have sexual intercourse. To prove this, you must show you did not know your spouse could not have sexual intercourse at the time you married.
Contact an Annulment Attorney in Long Island about Your Annulment
Any children born into an invalid marriage are legitimate in the state of New York. If you are not sure whether your marriage is voidable or a voided marriage, contact us. During our free initial consultation, we will determine which annulment ground is available to you.
We will also draw up the annulment petition to submit to the court. Be advised, submitting the annulment petition is the first step to getting a hearing. During the hearing we will show proof of why your marriage must be invalidated.
Sometimes annulment proceedings are like divorce proceedings because the same issues arise like child custody, property division and alimony. We will be with you every step of the way to resolve any of the issues that come up during your annulment process. Contact us today about invalidating your marriage and getting on with your life.