Annulment in New Jersey

Divorce Papers » Annulment in New Jersey

The annulment in New Jersey is retroactive in nature, that is, it negates a marriage and wipes it off as if it never happened and returns the couple to their pre-marital status. It is also known as "Judgment of Nullity" and is granted in the form of a court order.

Reasons for opting for Annulment in New Jersey:

Many a couples opt to file for annulment in stead of divorce due to various reasons. Some of the reasons for preferring annulment than divorce are as follows:

  • Social - There is no social stigma of being "divorced" attached with the annulment of a marriage and yet the couple gets separated and can lead a better individual life of their own.

  • Financial - The court rarely orders payment for child support, alimony or other causes and also the property is divided between the couple once and for all.

  • Religious - Annulment is an ideal option for the couples stuck in a void or a voidable marriage who are affiliated with religious groups and have medieval religious obligations rendering them unwilling to file for divorce.

Grounds for Annulment in New Jersey:

The grounds for annulment in New Jersey are specified by the statute. These grounds are very specific and one cannot get an annulment if one fails to prove them in the court. If the cited grounds are not proved in the court, the only option remains is to file for divorce.

Let us have a detailed look at these grounds:

  • Fraud - Fraud comprises of lying about the desire to have children, concealment of addiction, sexually transmitted diseases, religious beliefs, extra-marital contested pregnancy or marrying an individual just for securing the citizenship of the country.

    Trust is the base of any marriage and concealment and lying in order to get married is the breach of an important element of the marriage.

  • Incest - Marriage within relation; either by blood or by marriage, is termed as incest even if the relationship is legit. One is not supposed to marry their parent, grandparent, sibling, first or second cousin or step relations.

    Such a marriage is void ab initio and thus can be annulled on the sole ground of incestuous marriage. However, the proof of the husband and the wife's relation should be submitted to the court.

  • Bigamy - A bigamous marriage is prohibited by the law and one is not supposed to marry a person when they are already married to a living, non-divorced spouse. If the spouse is believed to be dead or the whereabouts are unknown, an exception can be made; but in the rarest of the cases.

    Bigamy can be the sole ground for seeking an annulment in the state of New Jersey and it is forbidden by the state law.

  • Coercion - If a partner is forced into a wedlock with coercion, threat of violence or duress, such a marriage is void ab initio as it lacks the free will and free consent which is necessary for a valid marriage to take place.

    Luring a partner into a wedlock under the false pretenses such as sham marriage or a joke marriage also constitutes of force and concealment.

  • Underage Marriage - If either of the spouse is under the legal marriageable age, such a marriage is considered as null and void as it is prohibited by the law. The underage spouse or his / her parents can file for annulment in case of such marriage.

    It is void ab initio, and the age-proof of the underage spouse needs to be submitted to the court to facilitate its verdict regarding the annulment of a marriage which should never have been.

  • Mental Incapacity - If a partner is suffering from a mental illness, disorder, temporary or permanent insanity, the other spouse can seek annulment on the grounds of mental incapacity. A person suffering from a mental illness is a liability on the entire household and naturally not capable of being in a taxing relationship such as a marital bond.

    Besides these causes, if a person is childish or immature, these can also be the grounds for annulment. However, they do not guarantee the granting of the annulment.

  • Impotency or Sterility - If a partner conceals the fact that they are incurably unable to consummate the marriage or procreate, such a marriage can be annulled on the grounds of impotency or sterility which are the important factors completing a marital relationship.

All these grounds are specific and need to be proved in court in front of the judge. However, no one can guarantee the verdict as the statute of New Jersey is not inclined towards granting an annulment when it comes to marital conflicts. Couples are generally advised to go for divorce in many cases. So, one needs to be absolutely sure that annulment is what they want before filing for the same.

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