Ending a marriage can be done in one of two ways: through divorce or annulment. Annulments are little understood by the public, and so matrimonial lawyers are frequently asked about the eligibility requirements for annulments in New Jersey. An annulment is a formal recognition that a previous marriage was void and should not have existed in the first place. Annulments invalidate the marriage by declaring it void and restore the spouses’ original statuses as single. Once annulled, it is as if the marriage never existed. In this respect, annulments differ from divorce, which is the dissolution of a valid marriage.
To get an annulment in New Jersey, you must meet certain requirements. The marriage either must be void from the beginning—meaning it didn’t meet the legal requirements for marriage in New Jersey—or an existing marriage must be declared void for certain reasons.
For example, an existing marriage may be considered void if one spouse was impotent and the other spouse was unaware of the condition prior the marriage, or if one spouse suffers from severe mental problems and thus is unfit for marriage. Another ground for annulment is fraud, such as if a spouse did not want to have children but did not disclose this before the marriage. A marriage may also be considered void from the beginning if either spouse was already married or in a domestic partnership or civil union recognized by the State of New Jersey. Likewise, a marriage may be considered void if one spouse did not consent to the marriage, was coerced, or was not of the legal age of consent. In New Jersey, the legal age of consent for marriage is 18 or 16 with parental consent.
Annulments are often preferable to divorce because they carry much less stigma, both religious and social. But they are only granted under limited circumstances, and these circumstances can be difficult to prove or establish. Thus, if you are seeking a New Jersey annulment, you should speak with an experienced New Jersey matrimonial attorney about your case. An attorney can evaluate your case and help you determine if your marriage is eligible for an annulment. Then, your attorney can help you file for a New Jersey annulment and demonstrate the grounds on which you are filing in an efficient manner so you can move on with your life.
Do you have questions about annulments? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can determine whether you are eligible for an annulment and help you navigate the process efficiently so you can move on with your life. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at email@example.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.