Annulments are an alternative to traditional divorce for qualifying individuals in New Jersey. Unlike divorce, annulments only apply to certain situations in which one or both parties were deceived or acted illegally, causing the marriage to be null and void. Essentially, annulments are the legal equivalent of having a criminal charge expunged. In other words, annulments create a situation where it is legally as if the marriage never took place.
The annulment and divorce attorneys of Jacobs Berger believe that marriages entered into under false pretenses or unlawful circumstances should not ruin the rest of the lives of our clients. For those who are eligible, we will aggressively pursue annulments so that individuals may put this painful period behind them once and for all. Our firm approaches each case as an opportunity to build a solid foundation for the future of our clients. We take pride in serving clients from local New Jersey communities.
Call our office today for a comprehensive Strategic Planning Session with one of our qualified annulment attorneys regarding your annulment, divorce, or any other family law matters.
Annulment Attorneys Define Legal and Religious Annulments
There are two forms of annulments with which most people are familiar: religious annulments and legal annulments. Despite using the same terminology, these two are entirely separate. Our Randolph annulment attorneys define both for our clients as the following:
Legal Annulments – the state of New Jersey has very specific regulations which govern who is eligible for a legal annulment (see next section). When granted, a legal annulment wipes the marriage from your legal history. This means that not only can you legally state that you have never been married, but you are also free from the legal complications of divorce.
Religious Annulments – Many individuals will seek religious annulments so that they may be able to have a second wedding within their religious institution or for other religion specific purposes. While religious annulments are common, they have no bearing on legal standing in New Jersey. While legal annulments may help you be granted a religious annulment, the opposite cannot be said.
Am I Eligible for an Annulment?
There are seven situations which may lead to a successful annulment in New Jersey. Our Morris County divorce and annulment lawyers will strive to prove that one of the following was true in your case:
- Bigamy. If you or your spouse were already married when your marriage took place, the marriage was unlawful and eligible for annulment
- Incest. When you and your spouse are too closely related
- Underage participants. If you and your spouse were married while either party was underage (18 in New Jersey or 16 with parental consent) and the wedding was unlawful or if after turning 18 the marriage has not been consummated
- Fraudulent or deceitful circumstances led to the marriage
- Sexual issues including impotence or infertility
- Marriage took place under coercion
- One or both parties was unable to legally consent to the marriage due to mental disabilities, intoxication, or other reasons
Unlawful Marriage Lawyers Discuss What Makes Annulments Different
The primary difference between a divorce and an annulment is that divorces end a legal marriage whereas annulments destroy the record of a marriage having existed. This has several trickle-down impacts for those who are granted an annulment.
The most glaring differences are the rights of divorcing parties vs. those who are separated through annulment. Divorces include considerations for spouses including child support, alimony, equitable distribution of assets, and more. Annulments do not carry any of these considerations. Similarly, if parents are granted an annulment, any subsequent child custody hearings would be held under the pretenses that they are unmarried parents, not divorced parents.
Beyond the legal implications are also the social aspects. While those who have had marriages annulled will likely still tell future partners about their previous relationships, annulments can go to show that you were not fully at fault for the dissolution, and that the marriage was never valid. Many of our clients also seek legal annulments for other personal or religious reasons.
Contact our Annulment and Divorce Attorneys Today
At The Law Offices of Jacobs Berger, our annulment and divorce attorneys take the time to understand the individual needs and concerns of each of our clients. We take pride in offering dynamic and personalized legal solutions for clients who are seeking annulments or divorce across New Jersey. Our firm is dedicated to making ourselves accessible and open to our clients when we are needed, even outside of normal office hours.
If you or a loved one is considering an annulment or has begun the annulment process, contact us online or by calling our Morristown offices at (973) 710-4366 today for a comprehensive and confidential Strategic Planning Session with one of our qualified divorce and annulment attorneys.