New York Info

New York Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals New York Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Mediation/Counseling Divorce Process Legal Separation Annulments Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Process Service Grandparent Rights Forum New York Products Divorce by County

New York Articles

Agreements Custody & Visitation Child Support Counseling Divorce/General Domestic Abuse Financial Planning Foreign Divorce Mediation Parenting Property Division Spousal Support SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Advertise With Us Free Network Page Join Our Network Submit Articles Sign In

Network Sites

New York Divorce Support New York Divorce Online

Annulments and Void Marriages in New York

This article is a brief overview of the law in New York concerning invalid marriages. As with any court proceeding a matrimonial attorney should always be consulted. This article is not intended to be any form of legal advice and is not to be relied upon as such.

Void Marriages

There are some marriages that are entered into in New York that are void from their inception, that is, they are not recognized as a valid marriage and can never ripen into a valid marriage regardless of their length. These marriages are called void marriages.

Marriages entered into between two parties that are related within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity are void. Section 5 of the Domestic Relations Law provides that marriages are void if entered into between (1) an ancestor and descendant; brothers and sisters of the whole or half blood; an uncle and a niece or an aunt and a nephew. These marriages are called incestuous. You will notice that, contrary to popular belief, there is no prohibition against marriages between cousins.

Section 6 of the Domestic Relations Law provides that a marriage is absolutely void if contracted by a person whose husband or wife by a former marriage is still living unless such marriage has been annulled or dissolved. These marriages are called bigamous.

To officially terminate these marriage one commences an action entitled "Action To Declare The Nullity of a Void Marriage".


Marriages that are void from the time its nullity is declared by a court of competent jurisdiction are called voidable marriages and it is these marriages that can be annulled.

Section 7 of the Domestic Relations Law provides: if either party thereto:

  • Under the age of consent, which is eighteen years, provided that nonage shall not of itself constitute an absolute right to the annulment of such marriage, but such annulment shall be in the discretion of the court which shall take into consideration all the facts and circumstances surrounding the marriage. Only the infant, either parent of the infant, guardian of the infant, or, where allowed by the court, any person as the next friend of the infant my commence the action for annulment. The annulment will not be granted if the infant freely cohabited with the other party after reaching the age of eighteen.
  • Is incapable of consenting to a marriage for want of understanding. If a party is unable to understand the nature, effect, and consequences of the contract of marriage because of mental incapacity (mental illness or mental retardation), the marriage can be annulled.
  • Is incapable of entering into the marriage from physical cause. Physical incapacity means the inability to have sexual relations. This inability must exist at the time of the marriage and must be incurable. Inability to have sexual relations after a period of time after the marriage is not grounds for annulment.
  • Consent to the marriage by reason of force, duress or fraud. If a person's consent to marriage has been obtained by violence or threatened violence, the marriage may be annulled for duress. Fraud is a material misrepresentation of fact relied upon by the other party. In order to annul a marriage for fraud, the fraud must be essential to the marital relations. The misrepresentation must be such it would deceive an ordinary prudent person. Concealment might constitute fraud.
  • Has been incurable mentally ill for a period of five years or more. A court may include in the judgment a provision providing for the suitable support, care, and maintenance of the disabled spouse for the life of the disabled spouse, payable from the property or income of the nondisabled spouse.

The procedure to either declare the nullity of a void marriage or to annul a marriage can be found in Section 140 to 146 Domestic Relations Law. The procedure must be strictly followed.

Was this helpful? Like our site & let us know.

Related Articles

Start New York Divorce Start Your New York Online Divorce Today
Easy, Fast and Affordable with a 100% Guarantee.
New York Divorce Find New York Divorce Professionals in Your Area:
Join the Network
New York Divorce Products, Services and Solutions New York Divorce Products, Services and Solutions
New York Divorce Resources to Help You Through the Process.
Online Parenting Class New York Mandatory Online Parenting Class
Easy and convenient - complete at your own pace online.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Divorce Bookstore
Over 100 Titles of the Best Books on Divorce & Custody.
Divorce Downloads Divorce Download Center
Instantly Download, Books, Manuals, & Forms.
Divorce Worksheet Free New York Divorce Worksheet & Separation Agreement
Your Guide to Get Organized and Put Everything in Writing.
The filing spouse must file and serve a verified complaint stating grounds for the divorce. In addition to the verified complaint there are other documents that must be filed including Affidavits and a Marital Settlement Agreement setting out division of property, spousal and child support.
Divorce Lawyers & Mediators

Find Professionals

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:


Start Your Divorce File for a New York Divorce


Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your New York Divorce


Support Forum New York Support Forum

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site