Family Law

Annulments in New Jersey

Annulments in New Jersey

Annulments in New Jersey

If you’re wondering if you can get an annulment instead of going through the process of a divorce, let’s first start with the basics, what is an annulment?

A Judgment of Annulment basically states that your marriage never existed. This is obtained by filing a complaint for annulment (similar to filing a complaint for divorce). If your marriage is annulled, this means that it technically never happened, as opposed to a divorce, which indicated that although the marriage did happen, it is now dissolved.

What Are The Grounds For An Annulment? 

To obtain an annulment, you have to be able to prove one grounds for annulment to the court. These grounds include bigamy or polygamy (meaning you or your spouse were already legally married to someone else when you got married), the marriage was with a family relation (I.e. you married your first cousin), failure to consummate the marriage or impotency, lack of capacity (which means that you were not mentally able to make the decision to get married), coercion or fraud (meaning that you were forced into the marriage or lied to by your spouse about important information), or you were a minor at the time of the marriage without the proper permission needed from the court.

Because you must be able to prove at least one of the grounds listed, it is much more difficult to obtain an annulment in New Jersey than a divorce. It is worth it to take the time to weigh both the pros and cons for trying to obtain an annulment and not a divorce.

How Long Does It Take To Get an Annulment? 

Much like a divorce, this depends on whether your spouse fights the annulment, and if there is a dispute over any of the issues. Because an annulment will treat the marriage as though it never happened, there will be no marital property division between the two spouses. It is worth noting though, that you still may be able to divide property between the two of you based on traditional contract law.

If there are no issues in dispute for the annulment, it can be granted in a matter of just a few months.

Fabrikant Law, LLC prides itself on providing exceptional professional and personalized service. For assistance with your family law matter, please contact us today.

​(732) 659-4109


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A wonderful image of a new family after adopting a spouse's child in NJ

The Journey to Adopting Your Spouse’s Child

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toolsetCommonEs.styleToHead()Let’s be honest…beginning the adoption process can feel overwhelming and challenging. Adoptions are, after all, legal procedures. That means official paperwork and potentially several months…

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Ann Fabrikant, Super Lawyers Rising Star 2020

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toolsetCommonEs.styleToHead()​I am honored to announce that once again I have been selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star ​​for seven consecutive years, 2014, 2015, 2016,…

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Custody Evaluations

The Do’s and Don’ts of Custody Evaluations

Custody Evaluations

Custody evaluations are rather common occurrences in my profession but they can be downright nerve-wracking for my clients. Their fate lies in the hands of evaluators with considerable weight behind them, bestowed upon them by the family court. I find it is best to meet with my clients beforehand. If they know what to expect, they tend to fare better.

To further prepare potential clients for future evaluations, I have come up with a list of do’s and don’ts. Consider this a guide for proper conduct during custody evaluations.

  • DO: Arrive on time for your custody evaluation interview.
  • DO: Dress neatly and conservatively.
  • DO: Tell the truth. Custody evaluators will corroborate your statements with other sources. It is also important to be honest if the custody evaluator uses psychological testing. Their tests are designed to detect defensiveness. In all cases, be sincere and refrain from overstatement.
  • DO: Show emotion. Most people do. It is alright to be nervous.
  • DO: Pay attention to what the evaluator is asking. When answering, take your time. If you do not understand a question, ask them to explain.
  • DO: Provide the custody evaluator with any documentation as promptly as possible, if requested. If you cannot do so, let him or her know.
  • DO: Inform collateral contacts that they may be contacted, so they are prepared to speak on your behalf.
  • DO: Be your best self. Try to relax and exhibit patience, humor and all the best qualities desired in a parent.

 

​Read Changing Custody Agreements In New Jersey

  • DON’T: speak poorly of your spouse/partner. Wait for the custody evaluator to ask about any problems between the two of you. Refrain from threatening comments as well.
  • DON’T: bombard the custody evaluator with phone calls.
  • DON’T: visit the evaluator’s office without making an appointment first.
  • DON’T: coach your kids to speak negatively about the other parent. Evaluators can tell when this is happening.
  • DON’T: make derogatory remarks about the other parents or the other parent’s family, especially not to or in front of the children.
  • DON’T: refuse to talk to the other parent regarding the child, or worse, use the children as messengers.
  • DON’T: involve a new significant other in the custody dispute.

My list is hardly exhaustive. If you require representation for a custody matter, there is much for us to talk about. All the tools you will need for your evaluation are just a click away. Contact my office to schedule an appointment.

We are here to listen, advise, and tenacious defend. Our #1 goal is to guide you to your new tomorrow with the most resources and options at your disposal.

Do you have questions? Take advantage of our free consultation today!

(732) 659-4109       ✉ann@fabrikantlaw.com


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Child’s Post-Divorce Fears

Addressing Your Child’s Post-Divorce Fears

Child’s Post-Divorce Fears

When I think about how little most adults know about divorce, I am reminded of how frightening divorce can be for children. Some may refer to me as a divorce lawyer but I practice family law. It is tragic when couples confuse child custody with property division. You may no longer be a couple but you will always be parents. Addressing your child’s post-divorce fears should be top priority.

Those fears do no kick in once the papers are signed. They begin as soon as a child is made aware. The full scope of their anxieties will only be learned by speaking with them. However, these are probably the three most common fears children experience in the wake of a divorce announcement.

Do Mom and Dad Hate Each Other?

It’s a natural extreme for a child’s mind, even if your separation is not particularly contentious. Do not assume that your child has the wherewithal to understand the complexity of adult relationships, even if he or she is mature for their age. A child can know what divorce is but can still be concerned over its lasting effects.  Imagine the anxiety your child may feel over the idea that this conflict is something they will have to deal with forever. It can even extend to their relationships with extended family.

How to address: Minimize conflict when in front of your children. This must be decided as soon as you decide to separate. Speak to them and encourage them to speak to you. As for you and your spouse, the sooner you can arrive at a parenting plan, the better. Your commitment to learning how to navigate these changes will set the right example for your children.

Do I Have To Choose Between My Parents?

Children have always interpreted their role in custody as choosing between their mother and father. Again, this translation is the source of profound anxiety. You don’t feel comfortable playing sides when it is your own side you are playing. How is a child going to feel?

How to address: Such lines are drawn in regards to children more often than not, anyway. A child is allowed to miss his or her parents. He or she should feel free to speak about this without you or your spouse making it personal.  Remember when you taught your child to say nothing if he or she has nothing nice to say? It’s time to follow your own advice.

Is It My Fault My Parents Are Getting A Divorce?

A child’s pain can be turned inward the same as an adult’s. Questions about the end of your relationship must be directed somewhere. Blaming themselves for the divorce, children’s imaginations can be brutal.

How to address: Communication remains essential. If you feel overwhelmed, books are available, as are online resources. Don’t underestimate your child, either. As complicated as a divorce can be, it can still be broken down to simple, direct language. Children respond quite well to being given the benefit of the doubt.

Will there be a definitive end to your child’s fears regarding divorce? They will eventually come to an understanding but will always appreciate a present and available parent.

We are here to listen, advise, and tenacious defend. Our #1 goal is to guide you to your new tomorrow with the most resources and options at your disposal.

Do you have questions? Take advantage of our free consultation today!

(732) 659-4109       ✉ann@fabrikantlaw.com


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