What Are the Grounds for Annulment on Long Island, NY?
For most couples who decide to end their marriage, it is most appropriate to get either a legal separation or divorce. In other cases, the couple may be eligible for what is called an annulment. Here’s what to know about getting an annulment on Long Island and how New York divorce lawyers Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. can assist you.
The Difference Between Annulment and Traditional Divorce
The primary difference between getting a divorce and having your marriage annulled is that an annulment essentially erases the marriage as though it had never occurred in the first place. A divorce declares a marriage dissolved. With an annulment, both spouses leave the illegitimate marriage with the property and debts they had when they entered the marriage. But with divorce, property and debts are subject to equitable distribution.
An annulment is a way for a couple to end their marriage without having to get a legal separation or divorce. Not all couples are eligible for annulment because, unlike an uncontested divorce, you cannot annul your marriage due to irreconcilable differences. You must have grounds for annulment, meaning that you meet one or more criteria for getting an annulment on Long Island.
Grounds For Annulment
Below are a few examples of the acceptable grounds for annulment on Long Island:
If one spouse lies to or defrauds the other in order to secure the marriage, this may be considered grounds for annulment. Examples of this type of fraud include failure to make full financial disclosure and other forms of gross misrepresentation.
Bigamy occurs when one or two people get married after already being legally married to someone else. It is against the law in New York and across the nation to be married to more than one person at a time. If one spouse finds out after the marriage that the other spouse has married already, they can file a petition for annulment. Another remedy would be to either annul the marriage or file for divorce from the first spouse. Once a divorce is granted for the first marriage, the second marriage becomes legitimate automatically.
In the event that two people get married and later find out they are related to each other by blood, they may seek an annulment on these grounds under New York family law. This is known as consanguinity or a consanguineous marriage.
Inability to Consummate the Marriage or Bear Children
If one spouse is physically unable to bear children, or they are unable to consummate the marriage, an annulment may be granted on these terms. Annulments are often granted in cases where it can be shown that the spouse that cannot have children or consummate the marriage knew of this issue and either lied to their spouse-to-be or neglected to provide full disclosure before the wedding.
One Spouse Did Not Consent to the Marriage
In some cases, a marriage may occur when one spouse did not provide legal consent to get married. An annulment may be granted if one spouse can show they were either underage at the time of the marriage and their parents did not provide adequate consent, or if that spouse can illustrate that they were blackmailed, coerced, or otherwise forced into the marriage without their willing agreement. You may also show how consent could not be obtained from one or both spouses because they lacked the mental capacity to knowingly agree to the marriage.
Another common scenario where one or both spouses did not consent to the marriage is if one or both spouses were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the marriage. A person who is under the influence cannot legally consent to binding agreements, including but not limited to marital contracts (and any other type of contract).
Call Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Today for Your Consultation
At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we understand the challenges presented by certain types of marriage that do not fit into the category of legal separation or divorce. If you have recently gotten married and qualify for one or more of the above grounds for annulment, we can help. You may be eligible for an annulment if you meet certain criteria which would legally undo your marriage as though it had never taken place.
Call now for an initial consultation to discuss whether or not you meet to see the criteria for annulment on Long Island, NY and to learn more about the legal options available to you by dialing 631-923-1910 or filling out the short form on this page.
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