In New York, annulments are rarer than divorces. However, though they may be less common, the procedure is still available for partners so long as the correct legal grounds are present. Underlying the concept of annulment is the legal theory that the “marriage” to be voided, after the annulment, was never a valid marriage. Legally, marriages that have been annulled are regarded as “nullified” or “void” marriages, and the action to begin this procedure must begin at a certain time to be considered applicable. The time limit that applies to your particular circumstances will depend on the circumstances as well as other crucial factors.
An annulment is distinctly different to a divorce in that the legal procedure for divorce is used to terminate a marriage that was considered to be previously legitimate and valid under the eyes of the law. An annulment, on the other hand, becomes a declaration that the marriage was never legally valid to begin with. However, as in a case of divorce, annulment cases may permit the courts to award custody and parenting or visitation rights regarding the children involved in the marriage, and may require the payment of child support or other forms of maintenance. For instance, according to Domestic Relations Law, there are formulas for both temporary maintenance (support for the spouse while a matrimonial case is pending) and durational or permanent maintenance if any (support for the ex-spouse for some time period after the case is finished), and courts have some discretion to decide whether or not to order a maintenance award within any matrimonial action – including annulments. Continue reading →