Albany Family Law Blog

How does annulment work in New York?

Posted by Joanne P. Monagan, Esq. | Aug 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

A divorce ends a legal and valid marriage. However, an annulment establishes that a marriage was invalid or illegal at its start. Not many qualify for an annulment, but before going through with a divorce, one may want to be informed about what qualifies for an annulment. 

An annulment has certain legal advantages over a divorce by establishing that the marriage never officially was valid. When an annulment is achieved, issues like spousal support and property division could be affected. 

Who qualifies for annulment?

Being different from divorce, annulment comes with its own set of rules. Here are the unique qualifications for an annulment in New York:

  • Bigamy: If either spouse was already married at the time of marriage, then this is known as bigamy.
  • Impotence: If either partner was incapable of intercourse at the time of marriage and this information was withheld from the other, the marriage could be annulled.
  • Incest: If the relationship is incestuous, it can be grounds for annulment.
  • Insanity: If either spouse became incurably insane for five years or more, then it could be grounds for annulment.
  • Mental incapacity: If either spouse is not able to understand the consequences of getting married, then the marriage could be annulled.
  • Force or duress: If the marriage was entered into by one or both spouses through force, then it could qualify for an annulment.
  • Fraudulent: If the marriage was entered into for fraudulent purposes (such as for the purpose of obtaining immigration status) then an annulment may be possible. 

The above is a brief list of what conditions may qualify for an annulment in New York. However, these do not guarantee that an annulment will be granted. If you suspect that your marriage was invalid or illegal, then an annulment may be an option.

About the Author

Joanne P. Monagan, Esq.

Managing Attorney


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