Both divorces and annulments are court procedures that dissolve, or end, marriages. Unlike a divorce, an annulment treats the marriage as if it never happened. Additionally, some people continue to think that divorce carries a stigma, whereas an annulment does not. For the record, the state of New Jersey does allow for annulments, but only under specific circumstances set out in the law. For more information on who may qualify for an annulment and when, please read on, then contact one of our experienced annulment attorneys in Bergen County, NJ today.
Who qualifies for annulments in New Jersey?
The Garden State has very strict grounds, or legal reasons, for residents obtaining an annulment. These grounds include you and/or your spouse:
- Being under the age of eighteen at the time you married and since turning eighteen you and your spouse have not had sexual relations
- Being unable to comprehend that you were marrying, due to a mental condition or intoxication
- Inducing the other to marry through fraud or lies
- Only marrying because of severe threats
- Having incurable impotence at the time of the marriage
- Being too closely related, making the marriage illegal
- Being married to someone else at the time of your marriage, i.e. bigamy
Please bear in mind that New Jersey, like every other state, prohibits bigamy and will prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law.
How do you obtain an annulment in New Jersey?
You or your spouse must be a resident of New Jersey at the time you file in order to obtain an annulment. First, you or your spouse will have to fill out and file a “Complaint for Annulment.” Then, you will have to provide information about yourself, your spouse, your children, your marriage and the grounds for an annulment in your complaint. Subsequently, someone will have to serve your spouse with the petition. Whoever serves your spouse has to fill out an Affidavit of Service, which you must then file with the court.
In the event your spouse agrees to the annulment, the judge will enter a decree of annulment without a hearing. Conversely, the judge will hold a hearing if your spouse does not agree to the annulment. In a hearing, both you and your spouse will have to testify and present other evidence to the judge so that he or she can determine the appropriateness of the annulment. You will receive a Judgment of Nullity if the judge decides to annul your marriage. This Judgment means that, legally speaking, your marriage never happened.
For more information or to get the legal process started, speak with one of our skilled Bergen County divorce attorneys today.
Contact our experienced Bergen County firm
To speak with our team of family law lawyers today, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.