Divorce vs. Annulment in NY

We’ve all made mistakes. Most of the time, we have to learn to live with those mistakes as we try to make better choices in the future. However, every once in awhile we make mistakes that, for whatever reasons, we do not feel we could learn to live with without harmful consequences. In this case, we take steps to erase any evidence of those mistakes from existence.

For many of us, one mistake may have been marrying the wrong person. A regrettable marriage can fall into either category of mistake mentioned above. Either the couple comes to the understanding that their marriage does not work, part ways by means of traditional divorce, and re-enter the world of singles as openly divorced people, or it becomes clear that the marriage does not work, and reasons behind that realization are so severe that one or both parties seek to erase it from existence by getting an annulment.

Spouses hoping to get their marriage annulled in New York state should be aware that, as mentioned above, to erase a mistake from existence often requires more effort than learning to live with it.

New York state divorce law stipulates that a married couple may obtain a no-fault divorce after six months if all matters of economics and child custody have been settled within that time. Of the seven grounds for legal divorce recognized in New York state, these are essential:

  • Cruel and inhumane treatment
  • Abandonment
  • Imprisonment
  • Adultery
  • Divorce following a legal separation agreement
  • Divorce following a judgment of separation by the Supreme Court,

No-fault hardly places the burden of proof on the spouses. There is no such leniency given to seekers of an annulment.

In order to legally erase a marriage from existence in New York, one or both of the spouses must provide proof that their marriage was performed under at least one of the following five circumstances:

  • Either spouse was under the age of 18
  • Either spouse is unable to perform intercourse
  • Either spouse lacked the mental capacity to consent to the marriage
  • Either spouse has been mentally ill for a period of at least 5 years
  • Marital consent was taken by force or through fraudulent means

If you fear that you have made a mistake in marrying your spouse and are now wondering what the more appropriate route to take in separating would be, feel free to visit us for a free consultation.