When is marriage annulment an option?

New Jersey annulments are meant for marriages that were never valid according with the law. That’s why annulments are often easier and faster to handle than divorce. Each state has different conditions to allow a spouse to annul his or her marriage.

In an uncontested Complaint for Annulment, a spouse can simply list a qualifying condition to annul his or her marriage in New Jersey. However, in contested cases, a spouse may need to provide evidence to prove the complaint is valid.

Qualifying conditions

Under New Jersey law, courts can order a marriage to be annulled for any of the following circumstances:

  • One party is already married (bigamy)
  • Intoxication
  • Under the influence of an impairing substance
  • Inability to consummate the marriage (impotency)
  • Marriage took place within 72 hours of gaining marriage license
  • Mental illness, insanity or retardation
  • One party is younger than 18
  • Fraud
  • Duress or lack of consent

Marriage to a blood, half-blood or adopted relative (father, mother, sister, uncle or aunt) is considered incestuous and is prohibited from occurring to begin with.

Exception to qualifying conditions

In most cases, getting in an annulment in New Jersey only requires fitting the above criteria — not meeting a certain time frame requirement. However, the courts can grant an annulment without cause if it the annulment request is made less than 30 days since the marriage ceremony.

Child custody

In New Jersey, children born of an invalid marriage are still considered legitimate, meaning child support and a child custody order can be ordered by the court. Children also retain rights to inherit from each parent.

These are just a few of the caveats that may be important if you want to annul your marriage. Contact an experienced family law attorney to learn more about which situations may constitute an illegitimate marriage in New Jersey and what divorce options may otherwise be available.