Since they were married for such a short time, does that make the process of divorce easier? Personal Space spoke to top New York divorce attorney Jacqueline Newman, who explained what the two can expect to take away from their short-lived marriage.
“Basically they’re probably not gonna be able to get a annulment,” Jacqueline says. “Annulments are very hard to get. If you’re getting an annulment, you couldn’t enter into marriage for five reasons.”
Turns out one half of the couple has to qualify for one of these five, which it seems both Luann and Tom do not.
“If someone is mentally ill for at least five years, seriously mentally ill, so much so that you couldn’t understand you were entering into this agreement is one, the consent to get married was under duress or fraud is two,” Jacqueline says, adding, “Or you would have to prove they basically were unable and don’t have the ability to understand the contract of marriage, four that they are under the age of 18, and five, either spouse is unable to have sexual intercourse.”
Jacqueline says that most people think that the duration of marriage (if it’s super short) is automatic grounds for an annulment—it’s not.
“It’s very hard, you have to go in front of a judge and you have to prove these grounds,” she says. “Divorce is easier.”
And after seven months, is anyone actually entitled to anything? That depends on the prenup, Jacqueline says.
“I usually do a ‘walkaway prenup’ after a short amount of time, what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is yours,” she says. “Anything accumulated during the marriage could be split, but New York is an equitable state, not an equal one. It’s not automatically split 50/50.
“I have to guess that her prenup says whatever she accumulates is hers, it’s a fairly simple type of situation. There’s spousal maintenance, she may be entitled to something but it would be minimal. But if they want to drag this out then who knows where it’s gonna go?”
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