How Is an Annulment Different Than A Divorce?

Our team of expert attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn can guide you through your divorce or annulment process. 

Divorce is a process by which both spouses are putting a legal end to their valid marriage. Annulment is a process that legally nullifies the marriage altogether, making it as if it never existed. An annulment and a divorce are both legal processes that end a marriage. However, they differ in their effects on the marital status and how they treat the marriage from a legal standpoint.

What is an annulment of marriage in New York?

An annulment is a legal procedure that declares a marriage null and void, as if it never existed in the eyes of the law. It essentially erases the marriage, treating it as if it had never occurred. While a divorce ends a valid marriage, an annulment essentially erases the marriage, treating it as if it never took place. In an annulment, the court declares that the marriage was invalid or void from the beginning.

What are the grounds for an annulment in New York? 

For a marriage to be declared void or invalid, there must be the proper grounds for annulment. § 140 of Domestic Relations Law details six different grounds for annulment: 

  1. The marriage that was entered into is based in fraud;
  2. If one partner entered into the marriage because of duress or pressure from their spouse;
  3. If the parties who married were under the age of 18;
  4. If one of the spouses is unable to understand the nature, consequence or effect of the marriage due to mental incapacity;
  5. If after the marriage, one of the parties becomes incurably insane for at least 5 years;
  6. Either spouse was incurably unable to have intercourse at the time of marriage.

What happens after an annulment in New York? 

If an annulment is granted, then the marriage is considered null and void. Both parties are legally treated as if the marriage never happened. This means that the legal rights and obligations typically associated with marriage, such as property division and spousal support, may not apply. 

How is property division addressed in an annulment in New York?

If an annulment is granted, the court may decide how to divide property and assets based on the specific circumstances of the case. However, unlike in a divorce, there is no automatic entitlement to a division of marital property, as the marriage is considered void.

Is an annulment easier to obtain than a divorce in New York?

An annulment can be more difficult to obtain than a divorce because specific grounds must be established to prove that the marriage was invalid or void. Additionally, the burden of proof lies with the party seeking the annulment. 

Can I remarry after an annulment in New York?

Yes, if an annulment is granted and the marriage is declared null and void, you are free to remarry as if the previous marriage never occurred.

Working with an experienced New York Divorce Attorney

If you believe you may be eligible for an annulment or a divorce in New York, it’s important to meet with an experienced divorce and family law attorney to discuss your particular situation. The legal team at Brian D. Perskin & Associates is here to help. Call us at 1-800-DIVORCE or contact us through our website.   

Top New York Child Custody Attorneys

Schedule a Consultation Today

Scroll to Top