When is Annulment an Option in New York?

Divorce can be an emotionally and financially draining process. Naturally, most people want to avoid it if they can. Is annulment an option for your marriage? If you qualify, your marriage will be dissolved as though you had never married in the first place.

There are five grounds for annulment in New York:

    • One or both spouses were under age 18 at the time of the marriage
    • One or both spouses were unable to consent to the marriage due to mental incapacity
    • Either spouse is physically unable to have sexual intercourse
    • Either spouse was incurably mentally ill for at least five years, or
    • Either spouse obtained marriage consent by duress, coercion or fraud.

Note that if an underage spouse continues cohabitating after they reach age 18, they can no longer qualify for an annulment. Similarly, if a mentally ill spouse has a lucid period, and the couple still live together, that will waive the claim of incurable mental illness. If you have children together, note that annulment will not affect their legitimacy.

As you can see, the grounds for annulment are extremely limited. Most marriages will require divorce rather than annulment.

How to get an annulment

Unlike divorces, which can be granted based on written testimony, New York annulments require a trial. The spouse filing for annulment must go to court and prove at least one of the grounds for annulment, through testimony, documents, photos and other evidence.

Even if annulment isn’t an option for you, divorce mediation can make the process easier and more cost-effective than fighting it out in court. To learn more about divorce mediation, call the trusted Long Island divorce mediators at Solutions Divorce Mediation today.

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