The law permits spouses to annul marriages instead of seeking a divorce in Monmouth County, New Jersey. However, annulments are only available if you meet very specific criteria.
Ineffective legal representation during an annulment proceeding could result in long-term emotional and financial problems. You need a Monmouth County annulment attorney with considerable experience practicing family law in New Jersey to help.
Our Monmouth County divorce lawyers have over 20 years of experience. Attorney Jennifer J. McCaskill has extensive experience handling family law matters. She has been named a New Jersey Super Lawyer for seven years and has a perfect 10.0 rating with Avvo, to name just a couple of her accolades.
At The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill, LLC, our top-rated New Jersey family lawyers handle all aspects of the divorce process or annulment case. We have successfully helped clients through all types of family law matters.
How The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill, LLC Can Help You With an Annulment in Monmouth County
Obtaining an annulment can be difficult. Furthermore, in some situations, annulment might not be the best option for ending a marriage. While a divorce and an annulment end a marriage, they have different legal consequences.
Our Monmouth County divorce attorneys use their decades of experience to help you void your marriage. We provide aggressive representation when necessary. Our lawyers are also resourceful and effective divorce mediators.
When you hire our award-winning annulment lawyers in Monmouth County, you benefit from decades of experience. We provide knowledgeable, compassionate legal services. Our legal team handles all aspects of your annulment case, including:
- Discuss the legal aspects of an annulment versus a divorce in New Jersey
- Explain your rights and legal options for ending a marriage
- Identify your priorities and goals for the annulment to determine if an annulment is the best option
- Investigate issues related to your annulment to protect your financial interests
- Prepare and file all paperwork necessary to petition the court for an annulment
- Negotiate favorable terms for the annulment with your spouse through mediation, if possible
- Litigate the terms of the annulment if necessary
- Advocate for you during all court appearances and at trial
We are fierce advocates for our clients. Our family law attorneys protect your legal rights, well-being, and financial stability. A successful outcome in your case is our top priority.
Do you want to get your marriage annulled in Monmouth County, NJ? Contact The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill, LLC, today to schedule your free initial consultation.
What Is an Annulment in New Jersey?
An annulment is a legal process that ends a marriage relationship between spouses. However, it differs from a divorce.
A divorce or dissolution of marriage legally ends a marriage. If asked if they were ever married, the spouses should answer yes.
However, an annulment voids a marriage as if it never happened. Legally, it is as if the marriage never happened. If asked if they were married, the spouses can technically answer no if the court annulled their marriage.
Does My Marriage Qualify for an Annulment in New Jersey?
New Jersey family laws provide several grounds for seeking an annulment. Unlike a petition for divorce, the court can deny an annulment. If a marriage does not qualify for an annulment, you must file for a divorce to end the marriage.
Grounds for seeking an annulment in New Jersey include:
Fraud is a misrepresentation of fact. In an annulment, fraud includes misrepresenting any material fact that might have affected the other person’s decision to get married. Each petition for annulment on the grounds of fraud must be evaluated based on the individual facts and circumstances of the case.
Examples of fraud that could give a spouse grounds for an annulment in Monmouth County include:
- An individual lied to their spouse about wanting to have children or their ability to have children
- A woman does not disclose that she is pregnant by another man when she marries her husband
- A person lied to their spouse about their immigration status so they would marry them
- Someone lied to their spouse about their religious beliefs so they would marry them
You have the burden of proving that your spouse misrepresented facts and lied to you. You must also convince the judge that you would have reconsidered the marriage had you known about the truth.
A person must have the legal and mental capacity to enter into a marriage. Otherwise, the marriage is not valid and can be annulled.
Someone may lack capacity because they are minors and unable to give their consent to getting married. A person may have been intoxicated at the time they entered the marriage. Another example of incapacity is a mental or cognitive condition that prevents the person from understanding the consequences of their actions.
In addition to having the capacity to enter a marriage, a person must enter the marriage freely. If they are threatened with harm or coerced in any way to enter the marriage, the court may annul the marriage.
Coercion would include forcing someone to marry them because of blackmail, financial reasons, or threatening to harm a family member or other person.
A person under the age of 18 years old cannot legally consent to marriage in New Jersey. If the minor’s parents did not give their consent for their child to marry, the court can annul the marriage.
However, if a minor ratifies the marriage after they turn 18 years old, the marriage cannot be annulled. The spouses would need to seek a divorce to end the marriage.
The law recognizes that a function of marriage can be the intent to have children and start a family. Therefore, New Jersey annulment laws allow the court to void a marriage on the grounds of impotence. A spouse must disclose to their partner that they cannot have children before they are married.
Marriage between blood relatives is prohibited in New Jersey. The marriage is void and can be annulled by the courts because it is against the law.
Bigamy or Polygamy
You are not permitted to have more than one spouse at a time. If you want to remarry legally, you must divorce your current spouse.
Therefore, if your spouse is legally married to another person, your marriage can be annulled because it was not valid. However, for the courts to annul the marriage, you could not have known about your spouse’s other marriage when you married them.
Why Would a Couple Want To Seek an Annulment Instead of a Divorce?
A common reason for annulments is to get remarried. Some religions do not condone divorce and remarriage. If you receive an annulment, it is as if you were never married.
Some people do not want to say they are divorced. They prefer to say they were never married. They may also want to end all ties to their former spouse completely.
Annulments may be less time-consuming and costly than a divorce, but not always. Generally, annulments are used for short-term marriages that should not have occurred.
How Does an Annulment Impact Other Divorce Matters?
When you get divorced, you may need to resolve several issues, such as property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. An annulment can impact how these issues are resolved.
The court decides child custody in the same way regardless of whether you petition for an annulment or divorce. Custody is determined based on the best interests of the children.
Child support is the same way. Even though your marriage never occurred if it was annulled, you are still a parent. You are legally obligated to support your children. Therefore, the court will order child support based on the child support guidelines.
However, property division and spousal support are complicated matters. Technically, if the marriage never existed, there is no marital estate. The property the parties accumulated during the marriages is not marital assets.
Therefore, equitable distribution (property division) does not occur in annulments. If the couple owns joint property, property laws would govern their interest in the asset. In some cases, the courts may intervene based on contract law to divide assets in an annulment.
Likewise, if a marriage did not exist, there is no obligation for a person to provide financial assistance to their former partner. Again, if you had a written contract addressing this matter, it could change the situation.
The issues related to an annulment can be complicated and have long-term consequences. Before petitioning for an annulment, discuss your situation with an experienced Monmouth County annulment lawyer.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Monmouth County Annulment Lawyers
If you have questions about annulments in New Jersey, contact our office for a free case review. If an annulment is not the best option in your case, our experienced Monmouth County annulment lawyers can discuss other options for ending your marriage. We are here to help you identify the best possible solution for your situation.