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.