Annulments in New Jersey

Annulments in New Jersey

Couple FightingSo you’ve decided that your marriage can’t be saved and that you need to take legal action to end it. Should you file for divorce or seek an annulment? What’s the difference? Will you qualify for an annulment?

What is an Annulment?

An annulment, like a divorce, legally dissolves a marriage through a legal proceeding. With an annulment, though, the court issues an order stating that your marriage was never valid—essentially, it never happened. Accordingly, in the eyes of the law, you are not a divorced person, because the marriage never occurred. It’s important to understand, though, that there are two types of annulment—civil annulment, granted by a court of law; and religious annulment, issued by a church body or clergy person.

Do You Qualify for an Annulment?

There are very specific restrictions in New Jersey regarding who can obtain a “civil annulment.” An annulment may be issued under any of the following circumstances:

  • One of the parties to the marriage was mentally incapacitated at the time of the marriage—under the influence of drugs or alcohol, mentally ill or in a similar state, such that he or she did not understand that a marriage was taking place.
  • The marriage was entered into because of fraud, misrepresentation, intimidation, undue influence or coercion.
  • The parties to the marriage are too closely related under New Jersey law.
  • One of the parties was under 18 at the time of the marriage, and the parties have not had sexual relations since turning 18.
  • One of the parties was legally married to someone else at the time of the wedding.
  • One of the parties was incurably impotent at the time of the marriage

How Do You Get an Annulment?

You must file a “Complaint for Annulment,” providing the grounds upon which you are qualified to annul your marriage. Your spouse may consent to the annulment, in which case the court will typically just enter the order. If your spouse challenges the request, the court must conduct a hearing to determine whether an annulment should be granted.

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  • Family law matters are often charged with emotion and parties can be overwhelmed by the myriad of decisions that need to be made. Feelings of frustration, helplessness, anger and sadness are normal. We understand. Our attorneys and staff provide you with the compassionate, personal attention you deserve and the experience and integrity you demand. Whenever possible, we attempt to amicably settle the issues. When parties come to an agreement without court intervention, the results are generally more satisfying for the parties and spares them the emotional and financial cost of trial. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. And when it isn't, you want aggressive representation you can trust.

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