Annulments in New Jersey—An Overview

What Is an Annulment? How Do You Annul a Marriage in New Jersey?

Divorce from Bed and Board in New JerseyIf your marriage isn’t working, and there’s little prospect for putting things back together, you might consider filing for divorce. But what about getting an annulment? What is an annulment? How does it differ from a divorce? What are the legal requirements for getting an annulment?

Annulment vs. Divorce

Similar to divorce, annulment is a legal procedure that terminates a marriage. Unlike a divorce, though, an annulment treats the marriage as if it never took place. When your marriage has been annulled, you can truthfully indicate on job applications or other documents that you’ve never been married.

It’s important to understand that there’s a difference between legal, or civil, annulment, and religious annulment. A religious annulment is typically granted by a church but has no legal effect.

How Do You Qualify for an Annulment in New Jersey?

A civil annulment is available in limited circumstances. To qualify for an annulment, one of the following circumstances must be proven:

  • You or your spouse were not of legal age (i.e., under the age of 18) when you were married, and you have not had sexual relations since turning 18.
  • You or your spouse entered the marriage because of lies or fraud committed by the other spouse.
  • You lacked the mental capacity to understand, at the time of marriage, that you were getting married.
  • You married under duress or undue influence.
  • You and your spouse are too closely related to be married under New Jersey law.
  • One spouse was legally married to another person at the time of the wedding.
  • Incurable impotence by one party at the time of marriage.

You must be a resident of New Jersey when you file for an annulment.

How Do You Get an Annulment in New Jersey?

To annul a marriage, you must file a Complaint for Annulment with the court and have a copy served on your spouse. If your spouse agrees to the annulment, an order will be issued without a hearing. However, if your spouse contests the request for annulment, a judge will hold a hearing,take testimony, and consider evidence to determine whether an annulment is appropriate.

Contact an Experienced New Jersey Family Law Attorney

At the law office of David M. Lipshutz, we won’t take your case unless we know we can help. For a private meeting, contact our office online or call us at 856-627-1990. We are available to meet with you Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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