What is an Annulment in NH?
Most people are familiar with the term annulment, but some are not exactly clear on what it means. An annulment is similar to a divorce in that it is a court action that dissolves a marriage. An annulment different from divorce however, because when a couple receives an annulment, it is as if the marriage never took place. Where a divorce separates assets and deals with the aftermath of a couple separating, an annulment acts as though there was never a union to begin with and no property or assets are divided. In circumstances where a child is involved, the child is still considered legitimate even after the annulment is granted.
New Hampshire Annulment Laws
There are many reasons that a couple or a spouse may seek an annulment. Under New Hampshire law, Title XLIII, Chapter 487, an annulment can only be granted on the following grounds:
- The marriage was not consented to by a parent or guardian. In New Hampshire, the age of consent is 18. If a male or female under that age is married without parental consent, they can request to annul the marriage on the grounds that no consent was given. An annulment can also be requested by the parent or guardian of a minor who got married without seeking consent on the same grounds.
- The marriage was based on fraud or lies. If one party feels that they were deceived into marrying the other, they can see an annulment.
- The marriage was illegal. This can occur when two people marry who are too closely related or when one spouse is still married to another person. The marriage can be annulled because it was never legal under New Hampshire law to begin with.
How to Get an Annulment in New Hampshire
The first step to getting an annulment is to file a petition to annul the marriage. This petition can be found on the New Hampshire Court website, located here. In this form the petitioner must provide the names and of themselves, their spouse and any children involved. They must also explain why they are seeking the annulment. If both parties are agreeing to the annulment, a judge can accept the decree without having a hearing. If not, the petitioning party must gather evidence to prove to the court why their claim is valid. In these cases the petition will have to be served to the other party and the hearing will be set.
Call a New Hampshire Annulment Attorney for Assistance
The annulment process is not always as straightforward as it may seem, especially if one party does not agree to the annulment. It order to make sure that the case is handled as quickly and easily as possible, you should contact our office for assistance. Katharine Phinney is an experienced family attorney who can help you through the annulment process. If you are seeking to dissolve your marriage and are not what option is best for you, Attorney Phinney can go over all of your options with you. Call now to get started.