Hackensack Annulment Lawyer

An annulment is a Court process that allows a party to dissolve or end a marriage. Unlike a divorce, the legal effect of an annulment terminating the marriage treats the marriage as though it never occurred.

There are a number of reasons a person would seek annulment over a divorce when deciding how to end their marriage or civil union. A Hackensack annulment lawyer at Moskowitz Law Group can help you decide if an annulment is the appropriate route for terminating your marriage. Our diligent divorce attorneys can support your needs.

Annulment of an Illegal Marriage

Since the legal effect of an annulment treats the marriage as if it never existed, a person may find this route more favorable compared to divorce. Unlike annulment, a divorce acknowledges and terminates a valid marriage. Additionally, the annulment process is typically faster than divorce proceedings, especially if both parties agree to the annulment.

Because an annulment treats a marriage as if it was never legally valid, couples do not have to deal with agreeing on issues such as the distribution of marital property or providing spousal support. Dividing joint property may be an issue; however, the complicated factors governing equitable distribution of marriage do not apply in annulments.

The State of New Jersey provides the specific grounds upon which a person can seek annulment in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-1. For example, a party can seek an annulment in situations where they discover their spouse or partner was already in another marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership at the time of their marriage. This situation is also known as bigamy.

An individual can also pursue an annulment with an attorney in Hackensack if their marriage is to a family member that is otherwise prohibited by law. N.J.S.A. 37:1-1 prohibits marriages between a person and any of their ancestors, descendants, or siblings. Marriages are also prohibited between individuals who are related as uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews. The statute notes that this prohibition does not distinguish between whether the relationship is full or half-blood. A marriage between any blood relative is unlawful under New Jersey law.

Annulments for Incurable Impotence, Mental Condition, Fraud, or Age

A person can also pursue an annulment if either partner, at the time of the marriage, was incurably impotent or incapable of having children. However, pursuing annulment on these grounds requires that the other partner was unaware of this impotence.

The Court also allows annulment in cases where parties lacked the mental capacity to understand the effect of a marriage. Specifically, a Court can grant an annulment if a person lacked capacity due to a mental condition or influence from drugs or alcohol.

A partner can also pursue annulment when there is no mutual assent to the marriage, situations involving duress or forcible threats, or fraud. Fraud can involve a variety of actions where an individual made explicit or implicit misrepresentations to induce a person to marry them. For example, lying about one’s religious beliefs could provide grounds to seek an annulment.

Additionally, the Court can grant an annulment if a person was under the age of 18 at the time of marriage. According to N.J.S.A. 37:1-6, only individuals 18 and older can receive a marriage license.

Courts also have discretionary authority to consider an annulment if it is allowed under the general equity jurisdiction of the Superior Court. This means that the Court may annul a marriage if it would be entirely unfair to treat the parties as if they are married for purposes of terminating their legal relationship. A common example is where someone can prove that their spouse only married them for immigration reasons rather than out of love. An annulment on these grounds must be proven with extremely clear evidence instead of speculation.

It is important to note the Court is unlikely to grant an annulment if the person seeking an annulment has taken subsequent actions to ratify the marriage. In general, ratification consists of actions taken by a person that prove they intended for the marriage to remain legally binding after discovering a potential cause for annulment. This can range from anything such as consummating the marriage or trying to save the marriage after discovering potential grounds for annulment. A lawyer in Hackensack can help a person understand all of the laws relating to annulment.

An Annulment Cannot Evade Child Support

Although an annulment can mean avoiding divorce proceedings to determine the distribution of property or spousal support, the procedure does not allow a person to avoid paying child support for children born during the marriage, even if the marriage is annulled.

Since the marriage has no legal effect, the couple will have to resolve issues related to custody and financial support of their minor children. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the Court will decide on the appropriate amount using the State’s Child Support Guidelines and applicable Statutes.

Factors that a Court will take into consideration when setting child support include the parents’ incomes, the child’s needs, the child and parents’ age and health, and other factors. During the annulment process, an annulment attorney in Hackensack can help a person create a custody plan that meets their family’s needs.

Speak with an Attorney Right Away About Hackensack Annulments

If you believe you have grounds to nullify your marriage, you should contact a Hackensack annulment lawyer right away. A Moskowitz Law Group family law attorney can help you analyze the relevant factors of your case to decide if an annulment is the best route based on your specific circumstances. Our team is ready to start working on your case.

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