People often assume that you can seek an annulment if you just got married and you realized it was a mistake. If you do it fast enough, they say, you don’t have to get divorced. You can just get it annulled and it’s like it never happened.
You can get an annulment in New York, but that is not how it works. Instead, you can use this process only if it turns out that you were involved in an invalid marriage. The annulment is a way of recognizing that it never should have happened and ending it as a result.
People may do this quickly after getting married, but it is not just because of the short length of the marriage. A similar myth is that you can annul a marriage if you have not consummated it yet, no matter how long it has been. Again, this is simply not how it works with modern divorce laws in New York.
What is an invalid marriage? This can happen for a lot of different reasons. For instance, maybe your new spouse was still married to someone else. They can’t legally marry you without getting divorced first. They lied to you, though, and told you that they already were divorced because they did not want to take the time to do this in the proper order. If you get married and then find out about the first spouse, you may realize that your marriage has been invalid the entire time and you can get an annulment.
If you’re considering either an annulment or a divorce, depending on the specifics, be sure you know what steps to take.