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Annulments and divorces are very similar as they are both used to end a marriage. In a Divorce, the cause of the end of the marriage occurs during the marriage. On the contrary, when a marriage is annulled, the cause for the end of the marriage exists before or at the time of the marriage. In an annulment, the couple treats the marriage as though it never happened. It is usually retroactive, meaning an annulled marriage is considered as null and void. If you and your spouse want to annul your marriage in New Jersey, you must fill out and file a Complaint for Annulment.
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The majority of the time, when people prefer an annulment over a divorce, it’s to avoid stigma. Some people think that being divorced is a marker for a failed relationship and an indication they might be less “datable.” To them, it carries a stigma. In other cases, an annulment is just easier than going through divorce proceedings. Also, there are times people prefer an annulment for religious reasons.
Before you can submit the Complaint for Annulment, you must first determine whether or not you have grounds for an annulment. In New Jersey, you can file for an annulment if:
You and your spouse must also be a resident of New Jersey at the time you file. Both of you will have to provide information about yourself, your spouse, your children, your marriage, and the grounds for the annulment. If you are filing alone, you will then have to serve your spouse with the petition, which means it must be delivered by hand by another adult.
If your spouse agrees to the annulment, and the Court finds that you have grounds for an annulment, you can go without a hearing and the Judge will enter the decree of annulment. If your partner doesn’t agree, the Judge will hold a hearing, during which you and your spouse will have to testify and present evidence. A Judge who decides to annul your marriage will grant a Judgement of Annulment, after which your marriage is immediately considered void.
Child custody works much the same as it does during a divorce. Your children are still considered “legitimate,” which means the father continues to be the father unless it’s proven otherwise through genetic testing. In the annulment proceeding, the judge makes decisions about child custody and child support.
Although you may not need to go through lengthy court procedures, having a lawyer on your case can help you stay on top of your paperwork. If you need to argue your case before a Judge, an excellent East Brunswick attorney can help present your case. Call us for accomplished legal help with your annulment. We can also help with division of assets and debts.
Call us for your free case consultation today.