There are several ways to end a marriage or change your marital status in the state of New York. According to the New York State Bar Association, these include divorce, dissolution, annulment and separation.
Most people are familiar with divorce, which ends a valid marriage with a legal court order. Dissolution refers to proceedings that occur when an individual seeks divorce on the grounds that his or her spouse has disappeared for at least five consecutive years. According to the New York State Unified Court System, a separation agreement does not end a marriage but allows spouses to live apart full-time.
An annulment, on the other hand, establishes that the marriage was never valid from the start. Thus, there is no need for divorce or dissolution proceedings. A couple must meet specific criteria in order to quality for an annulment.
If you are considering ending your marriage and you want to discuss your options with a divorce attorney, turn to the Elliot Green Law Offices. Call 718-260-8668 to schedule an initial consultation with a Brooklyn family lawyer today, and read on to learn more about annulment proceedings:
Am I Eligible for an Annulment?
According to NYCourts.gov, couples seeking an annulment must prove one of the following:
- A failure to consummate the union;
- Mental incapacitation;
- Forced or fraudulent consent; or
- Incurable insanity for five years or more.
Proving any of the above is challenging, and not everyone who finds themselves in one of the above situations may qualify for an annulment. The state recommends talking to an attorney about pursuing an annulment because the court does not provide forms for the proceedings.
How Will an Annulment Affect Child Custody?
An annulment essentially acknowledges that the marriage did not exist in the first place; however, if the union resulted in children, the court will still address child custody, child support and visitation. Regardless of the reason for the annulment, the court does not release either spouse from any financial obligations regarding child rearing if the children were born while the couple was still supposedly married.
The child custody proceedings following an annulment are typically similar to those following a legal divorce. Ultimately, the court will determine the best interests of any children involved and order a corresponding custody arrangement.
Even though an annulled marriage is, by law, a marriage that never happened, the court does not consider children of annulled marriages to be illegitimate. Thus, the court will order parents to pay child support if they fail to provide financial support for the children following the annulment. The court may also institute a formal visitation arrangement, and children will have the same inheritance rights as children of divorce.
If you want to pursue a divorce or annulment, turn to a family lawyer at the Elliot Green Law Offices to discuss your options. Call 718-260-8668 to schedule a free initial consultation with a Brooklyn divorce attorney today. You can learn more about divorce in New York by visiting USAttorneys.com.