Some people like the idea of getting an annulment instead of a divorce, when a marriage comes to an end. Many people believe that annulments are faster and cheaper than a divorce. A person may have a religious objection to divorce and wish to seek an annulment instead.
In New York, there are two different types of annulments, a civil annulment and a religious annulment. A civil annulment is issued by a court and deals with the legal issue of the marriage. A religious annulment is issued by a religious organization, and the rules for a religious annulment vary. Consult your clergyman to learn more about a religious annulment.
An annulment either declares a marriage void or voidable. A void marriage is not legal at its beginning. This would include a marriage between two close family members, a marriage involving a person who was already married, or something similar. Although a void marriage is not valid, an annulment still must be sought before it can be terminated. A voidable marriage is a marriage that was legal at the beginning, but could later be declared null and void.
Some reasons a marriage might be voidable include that a spouse was under 18 at the time of the marriage, a spouse becomes insane after the marriage, a spouse was mentally ill or mentally challenged at the time of the marriage, a spouse was forced to marry, the marriage was the result of fraud, or either spouse was incurably unable to have sex at the time of the marriage. Most annulments are based on fraud.
Annulments are not easier or cheaper than divorces. An annulment can actually be more complicated than a divorce, and may cost more in attorney’s fees and court fees. However, there may be legal reasons an annulment would be preferable to a divorce.
If you want to learn more about an annulment in New York, call the New York Family Law Attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 716-542-5444. We have seven Western New York offices in which to serve you.