When a married couple decides to part ways, they have two primary options: filing for an annulment or filing for a divorce. Both legal processes involve ending the marriage, but there are key distinctions between the two. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key differences between annulments and divorces so you can better understand which option is right for your situation.
When you file for an annulment, it means that the marriage never happened
Obtaining an annulment is the legal process of having a marriage unrecognized by the court system. It means that the marriage never occurred and is therefore treated as if it had never happened. This allows couples to go their separate ways more quickly and legally than would have been possible through a traditional divorce proceeding due to the marriage itself not even being originally recognized in legal terms. That said, filing for an annulment is often more complicated than a regular divorce seeing as it requires stricter criteria in order to prove that the nuptials were never legally valid in the first place.
A divorce legally ends a marriage that did exist
While a happily ever after may not always be the reality, there are options for those in less than ideal circumstances. Divorce has become an increasingly common choice for couples who can no longer work together to create a fulfilling relationship. Although it can be a difficult decision, divorce legally ends a marriage that just no longer works, allowing both individuals and families to move forward in life and create their own unique path.
Differences between the two
An annulment and a divorce are legal actions taken to end a marriage, however they differ in that an annulment requires proof that the marriage was never legally valid. When granted, an annulment means the marriage never took effect in the eyes of the law, such as when a partner entered into it under undue duress or unsuitable conditions. In contrast, with a divorce, while it acknowledges that the marriage was valid at one point, its purpose is to dissolve it due to extenuating circumstances.
There are different grounds for each
Annulments and divorces are two ways to legally end a marriage. Annulments can be granted if one or both of the spouses were not able to consent at the time of marriage, such as when it was determined that one partner was under 18 or the other was forced into the union through coercion. Depending on the country, annulments may also happen as a result of false pretenses during the marriage. On the other hand, divorces can be requested, as you can read at JWB Family Law website website, if one partner has committed adultery, or if a spouse has become neglected, abandoned, or mentally or physically cruel toward their spouse.
An annulment is also generally quicker and easier to obtain
An annulment offers an alternative to a potentially drawn-out divorce proceeding by providing an expeditious resolution for couples seeking legal separation. This process enables both parties to free themselves from the marriage contract, albeit in different ways from filing for divorce. When compared to obtaining a divorce, the annulment process is also simpler and typically requested when a marriage is determined to be void or unlawful. Essentially, this means that since the union never held any legal validity there would be no need for a lengthy exchange of assets or management of spousal support issues which can greatly limit the amount of time needed to obtain an annulment.
If you have an annulment you can remarry as if you were never married before
The decision to end a marriage is never an easy one, and if you choose to go through with it there are certain factors that need to be taken into consideration. One of the most important is whether you decide to go for a divorce, or instead opt for an annulment. A divorce still legally ends your marriage, but with an annulment you can look at the situation as if the marriage never even happened in the first place. This may be beneficial in terms of allowing you to remarry sooner than proceeding through a divorce – while some states may require a specific period of time before being allowed to remarry after a divorce, with an annulment there is no such requirement.
Ultimately, an annulment is a legal declaration that your marriage never existed, while a divorce legally ends an existing marriage. Thinking through these factors carefully when considering whether to seek an annulment or a divorce will help ensure the best outcome for any given situation.