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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Annulment can only be granted on very specific grounds. Annulment is saying that you never really were married in the first place, for some reason. Divorce acknowledges that you were married, but the marriage fell apart for some reason. If the reasons for the marriage falling apart do not fall within the grounds for annulment in the law, the only way to terminate the marriage would be through divorce. This is even if the judge looks at the facts and agrees that it should be annulled. The judge doesn't have the authority to do so if it doesn't fit within one of the narrow categories of annulment.
There's an excellent article about the various reasons that you can get an annulment in New York here: http://www.jdbar.com/Articles/Grounds-Annulment/grounds-annulment.html. Most of those are not relevant to your question, however, so I'll handle the fraud aspect of it.
Now not disclosing something, in and of itself, is almost never a basis for annulment. Courts understand that almost everyone goes into a marriage with secrets. Per the above listed article, Since marriage is a social contract, both parties must knowingly consent to the marriage of their own free will. The marriage may be annulled as void if either party consents as the result of duress, force, or fraud.
An action under DRL 7(4) may be brought by the party, a parent of the party, a relative of the party who has an interest in annulling the marriage. The action may be brought during the lifetime of the offending party. If the action is brought by a parent or family members, both spouses are necessary parties to the annulment.
For duress or force, the annulment may be brought at any time. The duress or force must be shown to have deprived the exercise of free will. If consent was necessary for the marriage, the parent or guardian who gave consent has a right to seek an annulment if the consent was given under duress or force.
When fraud is alleged, the action must be brought within three years of the discovery of the fraud. It must be shown that the fraud would have deceived an ordinarily prudent person, and that the consent was given due to the fraud. If the party alleging fraud failed to act prudently, the annulment will be denied.
If the parties cohabit after the time of duress or force, or after the discovery of the fraud, no annulment will be given, as the marriage will be deemed ratified. In order to prevail in an annulment under DRL 7(4), the injured spouse must immediately cease cohabiting with the other party.
To obtain a marriage annulment for fraud, it must be proven:
- There is preponderant evidence of fraud, duress or force. Here fraud means that the person knowingly stated something or hid something for the express reason of getting married, reasonably knowing that the disclosure of the truth would result in you not marrying him/her.
- The plaintiff would not have married the defendant had he or she discovered the fraud before getting married.
- The annulment is filed within two years after the plaintiff discovers the fraud.
- The annulment is filed within three years after the defendant committed the fraud.
- The plaintiff stopped living with the defendant upon discovery of the fraud.
ALL of these have to be present to get an annulment based on fraud. And often the most difficult two elements to prove are that there is fraud in the first place and that the plaintiff would not have married the defendant had he/she known of the fraud.
Now if you can prove all these things, then there would be fraud. But it's not simply stating that your spouse didn't tell you something or might have had additional motives for getting married. For the citizenship example, you'd have to show that there really was no love there in the first place, and that the ONLY reason was to get citizenship.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!