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Annulments

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Nathan Pinkhasov, PLLC are knowledgeable about the requirements for an annulment in New York State and can help to guide you through the process of an action seeking to annul a marriage.

An annulment is a matrimonial action to declare a marriage as null and void.  There are two classifications of marriages which may be subject to an annulment, void marriages - which are void at their inception and voidable marriages - which can be voided only by a court judgment.

When evaluating action for an annulment, the court may make all awards available in a divorce action, i.e., custody, child support, maintenance, equitable distribution, and payment of attorney and expert fees which is precisely why it is important to have an attorney experienced in those matters when seeking an annulment.  The attorneys are the Law Offices of Nathan Pinkhasov, PLLC are experienced and knowledgeable on all aspects of divorce and family law.  Notably, even though a marriage may be annulled, any children born during an annulled marriage are legitimate under New York State law. Once the marriage has been annulled, both the record of the marriage and the annulment remain as a matter of record.

Void marriages are those marriages which can never be legitimized. Technically, they do not need to be annulled as they were never valid marriages, but it is advisable to do so.  Examples of void marriages are: incestuous marriages (one between an ancestor and descendant (father-daughter, mother-son), a brother and sister, and an uncle and niece or an aunt and nephew) ; former spouse still living (where a party marries without having dissolved a prior marriage and the former spouse is living); marriage solemnized by someone other than authorized person (clergyman, minister, mayor, judge, magistrate, etc.);

Voidable marriages are not automatically void, and a court judgment is necessary to void them.  As such, if voided, the marriage is deemed void from the date of the judgment directing that it be voided.  It is within the discretion of the court to void a voidable marriage.  Examples of voidable marriages are: under age of consent (one or both parties are under the age of 18 and no parental consent was given – if between 14 and 16 years, parental consent and a judge’s approval is needed.  Either the underage spouse or his/her parent/guardian may seek to have the marriage annulled until the underage spouse reaches the age of 18 years); incapable of consenting for want of understanding (if the court determines that a party was incapable to fully understanding the nature of the marital relationship as a result of mental retardation or mental illness); incapable of entering into married state from physical cause (a party’s inability to have sexual relations unbeknownst to the spouse, notably, sterility is insufficient as a basis for annulment); consent to such marriage by reason of force, duress or fraud (both parties must have knowingly consented to the marriage of their own free will. Note that if the parties cohabit after the time of duress or force, or after the discovery of the fraud, no annulment will be given, as the marriage will be deemed ratified); incurable mental illness for five years or more (if one of the parties develops incurable mental illness during the marriage for five years or more).