DivorceMarriageWhat Is an Annulment and How Do I Annul My Marriage in New York?

May 4, 2016

An annulment is a remedy to declare null and void a marriage not legal to begin with.

In New York, annulment is available when:

  • One spouse was legally married to someone else at the time (sometimes called bigamy)
  • One of the spouses was under the age of consent (18)
  • The couple is too closely related to be legally married (incest)
  • One of the parties could not legally consent to the marriage because of mental illness or impairment
  • One of the spouses was forced into the marriage by threats or fraud, including lies like a faked pregnancy
  • It is discovered that you and your spouse will never be able to have sexual relations

The standard of proof of an annulment is higher than for a divorce and requires evidence be corroborated.

Sometimes, the facts that could be the basis of an annulment are discovered or revealed soon after you get married. But even if those facts are uncovered years later, you may still be able to seek an annulment.

For most reasons listed above, there is no time limit for seeking an annulment. If a divorce was invalid when it was entered into and it remains invalid it can be annulled no matter how many years pass.

When can I annul my marriage in New York ?

However, there are certain circumstances where the passage of time or the occurrence of certain events will terminate the ability to obtain an annulment. These include:

  • Underage spouse. An annulment may be obtained only until the underage spouse is of legal age and cohabitates with their other spouse.
  • Mental illness. While annulment is an option as long as the mental illness continues, it will no longer be if the spouse with the mental illness freely cohabits with their spouse after they are no longer mentally ill.
  • Inability to consummate. The physical inability to have sexual relations can be the basis of an annulment only during the first five years of the marriage so long as the inability was not known at the time of marriage.

If you have questions or concerns regarding New York annulments or any other matters relating to divorce, please give us a call at (212) 683-9551 of fill out our online form to arrange for a consultation. We look forward to assisting you.

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