The Difference Between Annulment, Mediation and Divorce
According to the United States Census Bureau, New Jersey has the second-lowest divorce rate in the country. However, some couples have reasons to dissolve their marriage. If you are ready to end your union, you have the option of mediation, annulment or divorce in New Jersey.
Is Annulment an Option?
Do you wish you had never married your partner? In New Jersey, there are several options available for you. One such option is known as an annulment. Many people believe that annulments are used only for certain circumstances, such as an unconsummated marriage. In the state’s case, an annulment can occur due to certain civil reasons. Under the law, an annulled marriage never legally existed.
However, if you want to be eligible for an annulment, you have to present evidence to prove your case. There are several common grounds for annulment, including:
- A preexisting marriage
- Marriage under duress
- Marriage due to fraud
- One spouse was underage
- A spouse with the inability to consent
If you want to obtain an annulment in New Jersey, you or the other spouse must be a resident of the state. You will have to file a “Complaint of Annulment” and provide the court with evidence for grounds of annulment. After you have submitted your complaint, your spouse will be served with the annulment petition. The spouse will have to answer the request.
If your spouse agrees to your annulment petition, the court will enter a judgment without any hearing. However, there is always a chance that you could end up in court. During the hearing, you and your spouse will present evidence and testify about the marriage. The judge will have to determine whether the marriage will end in an annulment or remain legally binding. If the judge agrees with the annulment, you will receive a Judgment of Nullity. With this ruling, your marriage never legally existed in the state of New Jersey.
As you can see, annulment only happens in very few cases. If you believe your marriage should be voided, you need to seek the help of an experienced Hackensack divorce attorney. With a knowledgeable family law attorney, you will know whether an annulment is your best option.
Mediation Can Help
If both spouses are willing to work together, mediation is a great way to end the marriage. There are numerous benefits to choosing mediation over litigation. This option is a good choice for those who want to avoid a long and costly legal fight. Mediation is also less stressful, especially if there are children involved in the marriage.
During the process, an impartial mediator will schedule a meeting. Both spouses will have their chance to talk about the assets, child custody and other issues. The mediator is there to help both sides come to an agreement. While you don’t need an attorney during the meetings, you will want to consult one for advice during the process.
In some cases, the marriage does not legally end, but rather the couple decides on a legal separation. For some couples, a separation will help keep one spouse on a health insurance plan or continue to receive Social Security benefits. If you think this is an option for you, the best strategy is to consult with an experienced Hackensack divorce attorney.
Divorce Might Be the Answer
In many cases, divorce proceedings are the only choice to end the marriage. You and your spouse will have to decide on many issues, including dividing up the assets and spousal support. If there are children involved, you will need to agree on child custody, child support and visitation rights.
New Jersey allows no-fault divorces, so both parties can step away from the marriage without blaming the other side. When you file for a divorce, it is important to have a trusted attorney to fight for your rights during this legal process.
Consult an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
During this time, you need to know the best options for your case. At the Law Office of Kelly Berton Rocco, our team will help come up with some solutions to end your marriage. You can call our Hackensack office at 201-343-0078 or visit the website to schedule a consultation.