An annulment, when filed in a county family court, seeks a determination that a valid marriage never took place. In an annulment proceeding, the petitioner seeks to declare the marriage void ab initio [at the outset], or voidable.
Either party to a marriage may file a complaint for annulment. Typical grounds for annulment are: bigamy, fraud, legal incapacity, or a legally prohibited relationship. Situations where one of the spouses was under a guardianship at the time of the nuptials, or where the degree of consanguinity was too close for a legal marriage [i.e. cousins] can lead to annulment. If a spouse is too young to marry because they are under the age of 16, the marriage is void ab initio.
Examples of a fraudulent marriage recognized by family court include: a marriage entered into solely for immigration purposes, marriages where one spouse does not disclose that he or she was previously married or had children, or when a woman tricks a man by telling him that he is the father of her child when in fact, he is not, or when a woman cannot bear children but does not disclose this to her husband.
If you believe your marriage may be voidable and wish to seek an annulment, contact our law firm to discuss your options. We offer a free initial consultation for this very purpose.