Getting an Annulment in New Jersey: Is it Possible?
It was a mistake. Both you and your spouse knew it after a couple of days married. You tried to work it out but it just wasn’t happening. It was just too soon to get married. But getting a divorce takes time, and you’ve only been married for a month. Can’t you just get an annulment in New Jersey?
First, let’s explain what an annulment in New Jersey is. Much like a divorce, an annulment is the ending of a marriage. The only difference between an annulment and a divorce is that being annulled means the marriage never existed. Many ask for an annulment instead of a divorce for religious reasons or because they feel a divorce carries a stigma.
In order to be granted an annulment in New Jersey, you must meet one of the following conditions:
- You or your spouse were under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage and since becoming of age, neither you nor your spouse has had sexual relations.
- You or your spouse didn’t understand that you were getting married because of a mental condition or because you were intoxicated.
- You or your spouse was coerced into marriage. For example, a woman says she’s pregnant in order to have her boyfriend marry her.
- You or your spouse were married under pressure. For example, you were given an ultimatum to get married or else harm would come to you and your family.
- You or your spouse had incurable impotence at the time of the marriage.
- You and your spouse were too closely related, making the marriage illegal.
- Bigamy, i.e. you or your spouse was married to someone else at the time of the marriage.
In order to file for an annulment in New Jersey, you need to file a complaint that provides information about you, your spouse, your children, your marriage, and what grounds you are using for the annulment. A hearing will be held and if your annulment is granted, you will receive a Judgement of Nullity. Once this occurs, the marriage is immediately voided.
What if you have children at the time of the annulment? At the time of the proceeding, the judge may make decisions on child custody and support. The court can also award alimony and property that is jointly owned by you and your spouse can be divided equally. However, unlike a divorce, the judge cannot enter orders about the equitable distribution of property. Instead, it all depends on who’s name is on the title. For example, if you own a car and your name is the only one on the title, then you will not have to split that with your spouse.
So as you can see, it can be difficult to get an annulment in New Jersey if you just got married “just because.” But you can still get a divorce. If you need help with your divorce, we can lend a hand. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.