Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) About Annulments in New Jersey
WHAT IS AN ANNULMENT?
The legal entry of an annulment judgment voids your marriage as if your marriage never occurred. Basically, an annulment means that your marriage never existed in the eyes of the law since it was not a legal marriage from the start. Each state has its own very specific rules and regulations when it comes to what will, and what will not, qualify you for an annulment, so it is important for you to speak with an experienced family law and matrimonial attorney in your geographical area in order to better understand the likelihood of success on an application you may seek to pursue for an annulment from the New Jersey Family Court.
HOW EASY IS IT FOR ME AND MY SPOUSE TO ANNUL OUR MARRIAGE?
Annulments in New Jersey are frequently discussed by spouses who desire to end their marriage. However, annulments are granted far less frequently than you might think by the courts in New Jersey. Part of the reason for the lack of annulments is a lack of education on the part of spouses regarding what legal factors must be met in order to successfully achieve an annulment, while the other reason for the lack of annulments is the inability of the parties to qualify for an annulment under one of the limited legal grounds pursuant to which an annulment may be granted by the court.
WHAT ARE THE LEGAL GROUNDS FOR AN ANNULMENT?
In the State of New Jersey, the law very specifically sets forth the limited legal grounds that might qualify a spouse for an annulment.
The grounds are set forth in a statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:34-1.
The most common reasons (“grounds”) for an annulment are:
(1) where one spouse was already married or in a civil union at the time of the marriage;
(2) the marriage was obtained by illegal means;
(3) one spouse is incurably impotent and the other spouse had no knowledge of said impotency at the time of marriage;
(4) the marriage was never ratified at any time by sexual intercourse;
(5) one or both spouses were incapable mentally to understand the marriage at the time of the marriage;
(6) there was lack of mutual consent to the marriage;
(7) the spouse who seeks the annulment was under age eighteen at the time of the marriage;
(8) there was fraud involved in the marriage process or the essentials of the marriage.
ARE THE ABOVE REASONS (GROUNDS) THE ONLY REASONS WHY A COURT MIGHT GRANT AN ANNULMENT?
The above list is not exhaustive, as the courts have equitable authority to broaden the scope, if necessary. Moreover, it is also critical to note that actions for annulment are extremely case specific and depend on the substance and quality of the evidence you are able to provide to the court to prove that the specifics of your particular case warrant the grant of an annulment by the court. Having an experienced family and annulment law attorney to help you through the process, alert you to the proofs necessary to prove your particular case, and to accurately present those proofs to the court, can often be critical in determining the success (or lack thereof) of your application for annulment.
IS IT TRUE THAT I QUALIFY FOR AN ANNULMENT SIMPLY BECAUSE I HAVEN’T BEEN MARRIED FOR ONE YEAR YET?
No! This is a major misconception of the people that call our office seeking an annulment. They are under the misguided belief that anyone that is married less than one year can have their marriage annulled. This is simply not one of the grounds for an annulment in New Jersey. However, if we can gather other facts regarding your marriage history that will fall within one of the 8 specified grounds for annulment, we can still pursue an annulment for you.
WHAT IF MY SPOUSE OBJECTS TO THE ENTRY OF AN ANNULMENT?
If you or your attorney can successfully demonstrate that the specific facts of your case warrant an annulment under the law, your spouse’s objection cannot ultimately prevent the issuance of an annulment and it will be granted over the objection of your spouse.
At the Goldstein Law Group, our divorce and annulment law attorneys frequently represent clients who seek annulments, and we are able to quickly analyze your situation and ascertain your likelihood of success on an annulment claim based on the unique circumstances of your case. Please call our Firm with any questions you may have so that we may guide you through this often discussed, but rarely understood, legal relief.
Goldstein Law Group is a boutique sized family law firm with offices in Brielle, Monmouth County and Old Bridge, Middlesex County that handles all aspects of family law including annulments. We serve all counties in the State of New Jersey. Contact us for a free 10-minute case evaluation to learn about our 5 attorneys and our experience in handling these matters.
Goldstein Law Group can be reached at 732-967-6777, or you may fill out the client inquiry to contact us. We look forward to helping you understand and navigate thru this process, and get you to the finish line, so you can start your new life as soon as possible.