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The Ins and Outs of Annulments in Totowa, New Jersey

Annulment is a way to dissolve a marriage without the usual divorce proceedings. While divorce acknowledges the marriage and ends it, an annulment considers the marriage never to have occurred. Couples may seek an annulment due to dishonesty entering the marriage, religious beliefs that do not recognize divorce, or the simpler filing process compared to a legal divorce.

man removing wedding band

Annulment Conditions Under New Jersey State Law

Annulments in the state of New Jersey are only allowed under specific circumstances as set out in the law. Below is an excerpt of the most relevant section of the state laws that explicitly define the conditions for an annulment, which include bigamy, duress, non-age, impotence, incapacity, incest, and fraud.

Judgments of Nullity of Marriage May Be Rendered in All Cases, When:
  • Either of the parties has another wife or husband living at the time of a second or other marriage;
  • The parties are within the degrees prohibited by law. If any such marriage shall not have been annulled during the lifetime of the parties, the validity thereof shall not be inquired into after the death of either party;
  • The parties, or either of them, were at the time of marriage physically and incurably impotent, provided the party making the application shall have been ignorant of such impotency or incapability at the time of the marriage, and has not subsequently ratified the marriage.
  • The parties, or either of them, lacked capacity to marry due to want of understanding because of mental condition, or the influence of intoxicants, drugs, or similar agents; or where there was a lack of mutual assent to the marital relationship, duress or fraud as to the essentials of marriage, and has not subsequently ratified the marriage.
  • The demand for such a judgment is by the wife or husband who was under the age of 18 years at the time of the marriage unless such marriage is confirmed by her or him after arriving at such age.
  • Allowable under the general equity jurisdiction of the Superior Court.

The Legal Implications of Annulment

While divorce marks the end of a legally valid marriage, annulment invalidates the marriage, meaning that when the separation ends, there are no legal obligations between the two parties, most notably regarding the separation of assets. However, alimony is sometimes still awarded, and child custody disputes will still be heard in front of a family court when applicable.

Maria A. Giammona, LLC has focused on family law for over 20 years, handling issues of divorce, child custody, annulments, and more for clients in Totowa, NJ. During an annulment, we are able to represent you with the utmost professionalism. If you believe you are eligible to file for an annulment, contact us today for a free consultation to evaluate your legal options.

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