Can I get an Annulment?
Annulment is a holding or finding by the court that a marriage never existed. In New Jersey, there are six grounds for annulment. They are as follows:
- One of the parties was married, or one of the parties was in an existing civil union or domestic partnership at the time the parties married;
- The spouses are in relation within the prohibited degrees;
- Lack of capacity by one or both spouses;
- Nonage; and
Scenario 1. Peter marries Ivana in 2005. They don't get along but never divorce. In 2012, Peter marries Joanne. Peter did not tell Joanne that he was previously married and never got a divorce. Joanne wants an annulment? Can she get an annulment in NJ?
Answer: May be. An annulment may be granted in situations where either of the parties has another wife or husband living at the time of the second marriage. However, it is up to the court whether to grant the annulment.
Relation within Prohibited Degrees
Annulments may be granted where the spouses are related within the degrees prohibited by law. The prohibited degrees are set forth in a statute. If you are not sure whether your relations falls within the prohibited degrees, please consult a family law lawyer.
Annulments may be granted where one or both parties were physically and incurably impotent at the time when they entered into the marriage. However, in order to file for annulment under the impotency ground, the movant must show that he/she was not aware of such impotency at the time of the marriage and the impotency has not been ratified the marriage after learning of the impotency. Additionally, the moving party must show that the impotence is incurable.
Lack of capacity
A spouse can file for annulment based on lack of capacity if one of the following conditions can be established"
- Mental incompetence
- Intoxication or drug addiction
If one of the spouses was under 18 at the time of the marriage, an annulment may be appropriate unless the marriage was confirmed by the underage party after she/he reached the age of majority, 18.
If the fraud was of an extreme nature and goes to the essentials of the marriage, and the proof of such fraud is clear and convincing, the court may grant an annulment. Whether the fraud goes to the essentials of the marriage is a question of fact decided by courts. Some examples of fraud include but are not limited to: fraud regarding intention to have children, fraud regarding religious beliefs, fraud regarding the marriage ceremony; fraud regarding social position and circumstances, fraud in concealing a physical disease, sham marriage, etc.
The information above is provided for informational purposes only. It shall NOT be construed as legal advice.