Brooklyn Annulment Lawyer

How to Dissolve a Marriage by Proving it Never Existed

When New York adopted a form of no-fault divorce, the burden of proof for spouses wanting to dissolve a marriage became significantly lighter. However, any divorce still requires an admission that the marriage was at one point valid, which is something many Brooklynites simply refuse to do. Whether a person is motivated to get an annulment because of religious objections to divorce, or righteous indignation at being made the victim of fraud, Coffinas & Lusthaus, P.C. assists in constructing a case for a civil annulment, a declaration from the court that the couple was never truly married. An annulment has a much higher burden of proof than a divorce, but our firm's Brooklyn divorce attorneys can make an effective case based on facts and present a passionate and persuasive argument on your behalf.

What are the grounds for annulment in New York State?

The difference between a divorce and an annulment is that divorce declares a valid marriage over, while an annulment declares that due to a defect in the formation of the marriage, the couple was never really married. Under New York Domestic Relations Law, there are two types of defective marriages: void and voidable. Under DRL §6, a marriage is automatically invalid (void) if one of the parties was already married to someone else. Under DRL §7, a court may declare a marriage void when:

  • A party is under the age of consent — Such a person lacks the legal capacity to enter into marriage. However, if the marriage lasts until the minor reaches the age of consent, and the minor continues to cohabit willingly with the other party, the (former) minor can no longer move for an annulment.
  • A party is mentally retarded or mentally ill — Such a person lacks the legal capacity to enter into marriage.
  • A party is physically incapable of having sexual intercourse
  • Consent to the marriage was obtained by force, duress, or fraud — Each of these actions deprives the other party of agreeing freely, which is essential to forming any kind of contract.
  • A party has had an incurable mental illness for five years — The mental state must have existed at the time the marriage was formed.

Many of our clients who want an annulment do so because their spouse lied about a material fact, and that, had they known the truth, they never would have agreed to the marriage. For example, if prior to your marriage your spouse told you that he or she wanted children but afterwards you discovered otherwise, you may have fraud grounds for annulment. This constitutes fraud and may give the court cause to declare the marriage null and void.

Capable Service Throughout the Annulment Process

At Coffinas & Lusthaus, P.C., we provide legal guidance and emotional support throughout the entire annulment process. It is important to note that even if your marriage is annulled, you still have to negotiate or litigate resolutions to ancillary matters that may include support, child custody, and the division of property. Yes, the court can still divide property and order support in cases of annulment. There's no difference in the way the court settles these ancillary issues. For this reason, having a smart, tough Brooklyn family law attorney on your side is essential to achieving success.

Consult with us – call (718) 717-1005 today!

Coffinas & Lusthaus, P.C. has a well-earned reputation for providing responsive, high-quality representation in family law matters. But we deliberately limit our caseload so we can maintain that high level of service. If you are seeking an annulment, reach out to our Brooklyn divorce attorneys.

Begin your case today and call (718) 717-1005.

Begin Moving Forward Today

Contact Our Firm