Many clients come into our office to consult with our attorneys about whether or not they can get an annulment from their spouse after only a few weeks of marriage. They usually want to ask us if they can to obtain an annulment based upon their failure to consummate the marriage. Those who ask this tend to be under the assumption that they can obtain an annulment based upon their failure to consummate their marriage. However, the truth is this: Failure to consummate a marriage is not a ground for annulment in the State of New York or the State of New Jersey. This information is surprising when a person thinks they have an easy claim for an annulment.
Because this is a common misconception among spouses seeking divorce, we list the grounds for annulment in the states of New York and New Jersey.
Grounds for Annulment in New York
- Your marriage is incestuous: An incestuous marriage is a marriage between an ancestor and a descendant, such as a father and daughter, mother or son, between siblings, an uncle or a niece, an aunt or a nephew, etc.
- You have another spouse that you have yet to divorce from: This is known as a “bigamous marriage” and will void all subsequent marriages, unless the spouse is divorced, widowed, or fully able to remarry.
- Your marriage was not legally authorized: The person who married you and your spouse did not have the credentials to conduct marriage ceremonies.
- You or your spouse were under the age of 18: If one spouse is under 18 when they married and they did not have the written consent of both parents, the marriage can be annulled. This is also the case if one or both spouses were under the age of 16 when they married without having both written consent from a parent and the approval of a judge.
- You or your spouse were incapable of consenting to the marriage: If either spouse suffers from a mental handicap/illness which renders them incapable of understanding the nature of the relationship, they have grounds to annul their marriage.
- Your or your spouse were incapable of entering into a marriage because of a physical reason: This includes such the inability to have a sexual relationship with your spouse, who was unaware of your condition before entering into marriage.
- Your marriage was consented to because your spouse engaged in fraud: Force or duress to procure one spouse’s consent is also considered grounds for annulment.
- You or your spouse has a mental illness that has existed for five or more years.
Grounds for Annulment in New Jersey
- Bigamy: Just like New York, bigamy occurs when one or more spouses are actually married to another.
- Duress: This happens when one spouse is forced into the marriage by threats, etc.
- Non-age: A person under the age of 18 gets married
- Incapacity: One or both parties are unable to form the necessary understanding of their relationship needed to consent to being married.
- Impotence: One spouse is unable to sexually perform at the time of their marriage and has concealed their impotence from the other spouse.
- Incest: Marriage to a blood relative.
- Fraud: There is some sort of misrepresentation when one spouse enters into the marriage. An example of this would be your spouse saying that they want to have children when they know that they do not want, or cannot have, children.
Failure to consummate your marriage is not sufficient enough grounds for annulment in both New York and New Jersey. There has to be an element of misinformation involved with the failure to consummate, like concealing impotence, that wasn’t known to you prior to consenting to the marriage, or you got married when one spouse is still legally married to another person.
Do you need help getting an annulment? We can help. Contact our Staten Island divorce attorney to discuss your case today.