NJ Annulment Lawyers
Helping you move forward
Annulment is a divorce alternative that only applies in certain circumstances. An annulment creates a situation where, legally, it’s as if the marriage never took place.
The NJ annulment lawyers at Jacobs Berger, LLC are experienced in working with clients to pursue annulment for a range of legal reasons.
We have a keen understanding of which situations constitute legal grounds for pursuing an annulment, and we’ve successfully represented clients who are seeking an annulment as well as those who would prefer divorce.
If you’re considering an annulment or beginning the process, contact us. Our knowledgeable NJ annulment lawyers can guide you through the process.
The NJ Annulment Process
Annulments can be pursued in situations where one party deceived the other or the parties entered into a marriage that wasn’t legal to begin with. In successful annulments, the marriage is legally erased.
The legal erasure of the marriage alters some of the rights granted to spouses in a divorce. Although the courts will still make decisions regarding alimony and child support, the division of marital property and debts aren’t subject to the same equitable distribution laws.
Instead, under an annulment, all property goes to the titled owner, and any jointly titled property is divided in half.
For those seeking annulments, effectively expunging the marriage from legal records can be immensely freeing. For those who don’t believe an annulment is applicable to their situation, however, the result can lead to a frightening reduction of or loss of access to marital rights.
Conditions for a marriage annulment
In New Jersey, there are seven situations that can lead to successfully getting a marriage annulled:
- Bigamy: if you or your spouse were already married when your marriage took place
- Incest: if you and your spouse are too closely related biologically
- Underaged participants: if you or your spouse were married while either party was underage (to be of age in New Jersey, spouses must be at least eighteen years old or else have parental consent and be sixteen or older)
- Fraudulent or deceitful circumstances, such as one person lying about addiction issues, religious beliefs, or other issues that were foundational to the marriage
- Sexual issues, including impotence or infertility
- Coercion, such as one person being pressured to enter into the marriage by threats
- Lack of legal consent by one or both parties for reasons such as intoxication or mental disabilities
If any of the above circumstances apply to your situation, then your marriage may not be legally valid.
Annulments require you to prove in court that one of these seven situations applies to your marriage. Therefore, the legal advice and guidance of a family law attorney can be extremely helpful during this process.
The NJ annulment lawyers at Jacobs Berger have extensive experience in guiding clients through the annulment process.
Legal and Religious Annulments
The process of seeking an annulment sometimes confuses people because there are two kinds of annulment: legal and religious. Despite using the same terminology, these two kinds of annulments are completely different.
The state of New Jersey has very specific regulations about who is eligible for a legal annulment (see above). When granted, a legal annulment wipes the marriage from your legal history as though it never existed.
An annulment means that you can legally state that you’ve never been married.
If you’re seeking an annulment that’s legal in nature, the NJ annulment lawyers at our family law firm can answer your questions and provide knowledgeable legal support in pursuing this change.
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 the legal standing of a marriage in New Jersey.
Legal annulments can sometimes help you be granted a religious annulment but not the reverse.
Contact Our Annulment Attorneys
At Jacobs Berger, our divorce and annulment 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 annulment or divorce.
If you’re seeking an annulment, contact us today for a strategic planning session—and move toward the future you want.
NJ Marriage Annulment FAQs
What’s the difference between a divorce and an annulment?
The greatest differences between a divorce and an annulment are the rights of divorcing parties versus those who are separating through an annulment.
Divorces include considerations for spouses including:
Annulments handle these considerations differently. In an annulment, equitable distribution of assets isn’t a consideration. Instead, all property goes to the titled owner, and any jointly titled property is divided in half. The courts still make decisions, however, about alimony, child support, and custody.
In addition to legal differences, divorces and annulments may carry different social implications.
While those who have had marriages annulled will likely still tell future partners about their previous relationships, annulments can go further to show that the dissolution of your marriage happened under unusual external circumstances and that the marriage was never valid. Many of our clients also seek legal annulments for other personal or religious reasons.
Note that an annulment differs from a divorce in terms of the process involved. While no-fault divorces are common in New Jersey, annulments come with an additional burden of proof. You must show in court that at least one of seven reasons for annulment applies to your marriage.
If you’re considering an annulment but have concerns about your legal rights in the separation process, contact us for a strategic planning session. Our NJ annulment lawyers can answer your questions and help you form the right strategy for your unique needs moving forward.
How long does an annulment take in NJ?
No two marriages are the same, and the length of time it takes to get an annulment varies according to the details of each individual case.
There are several factors that can influence how long an annulment takes, including whether or not one person wishes to fight the annulment.
Even though the property rights of divorcing parties don’t apply to an annulment, property must still be divided according to contract law (instead of through equitable distribution). Likewise, if the separating parties have children together, the court must still make child custody decisions.
How long do you have to annul a marriage?
In New Jersey, there’s no legal limit to the amount of time you have to pursue an annulment. However, the majority of the annulments granted by the courts apply to marriages that were of a shorter duration.