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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22765
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Am I able to get an annulment in NZ if I was married in another

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Am I able to get an annulment in NZ if I was married in another country? And what do I have to prove?

christhelawyer : HiWelcome to JustAnswer. My first response will follow shortly. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear
christhelawyer : The only ground for dissolving the marriage is that you have been separated for more than 2 years. If that is the case you can apply easily to the New Zealand Family Court. You do not need any special requirements for this, but just the fact of having been separated. It doesn't matter where you were married, as the court in New Zealand can dissolve the marriage.
christhelawyer : If you are living together then you will need to separate and wait for the 2 years before you can apply for dissolution.
christhelawyer : Please follow up as I think your question may be more complicated.
Customer: I see. I understood that non consummation of the marriage was another factor that would allow someone to apply for dissolution?
Customer: yes we
Customer: are separated and have been for 2 years.
christhelawyer : In New Zealand Family Law the only ground for dissolving a marriage is 2 years separation. Once you have been separated for this time, it is easy to apply for the marriage to be dissolved. The non consummation issue is not ground for dissolution however.
christhelawyer : a long time ago it was a ground, but this changed in about 1980 I think.
Customer: W
Customer: what will I need to prove that we have been separated for two years? Will an afidavit from both of us suffice?
christhelawyer : The usual evidence is an affidavit from you which says you have been separated for 2 years. It can be fairly straightforward and it is even easier if you and your husband sign a joint application and swear a joint affidavit.
Customer: Ok, I'm a little confused. This is all for a divorce right? But what if I want to get an annulment?
christhelawyer : In New Zealand law it is very difficult to get an annulment. It is quite easy to get the marriage dissolved, which is the same as a divorce. Is that what you want?
Customer: I would like to get an annulment as it would mean that both of us go back to our previous marital status.
christhelawyer : If the marriage is dissolved then you become single and free to remarry. Is that your intention?
Customer: My intention is to be single yes. But I would like to know how to go about getting an annulment, if that was possible.
christhelawyer : Ii is possible to apply for an order that the marriage is void ab initio, which is the same as annulment. But the grounds are not easy.
christhelawyer : The first is that one of you was already married, which is not your position I think.
Customer: Yes that's what I'm asking. I have tried looking online for information but it is not readily available.
christhelawyer : The second is that there was duress, mistake or insanity so there was a lack of consent.
christhelawyer : The third is that one of you was too closely related, again not your position I think.
Customer: And if the marriage was never consummated, is that ground as well?
christhelawyer : No non consummation is not a ground.
Customer: And I mean never consummated at all in the 3 years we have been married
Customer: I see.
christhelawyer : It would be easiest just to make the standard application for dissolution, as you could get this without difficulty
Customer: Ok but as for insanity, does it mean psychiatric evaluation including medication, or, is a letter from a psychologist stating that the marriage was never consummated due to a psychological disorder sufficient?
christhelawyer : no, that means one of you was insane to such an extent that the insane person did not understand what they were doing, and therefore could not consent
Customer: Ok, it's much clearer now thank you, XXXXX XXXXX you for your input, it is much appreciated.
christhelawyer : In 34 years of practice I have only heard of a tiny number of applications for void marriages. Most just wait for the 2 years.
Customer: I see. The main reason I wanted to apply for a void was so that my spouse would be able to be recognised as never married instead of divorced.
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