Facing the end of a marriage can be an emotional and stressful time. Even if you know for sure that you want to dissolve your marriage, it might not be clear what type of legal action you should take. Determining whether a divorce or an annulment would benefit your case can be very challenging. When trying to decide, keeping in mind the differences between the two legal processes can go a long way in helping you determine which one is the best option for your family law case. Having a lawyer to review each option with you can also be very beneficial.
Differences Between Annulment & Divorce
Annulments and divorces are very similar when handling and dividing your matters. The main difference between the two is that even though an annulment dissolves a marriage just as a divorce would, it also treats a marriage as if it never happened. Because of this, many people seek annulments for religious reasons. Typically, annulments happen within a few weeks of a marriage and, therefore, don’t involve matters like property or debt division and child custody. Divorce is commonly used as a means to end long-term marriages that include such matters.
Do I Qualify for an Annulment?
Because an annulment treats a marriage as if it never happened, many people might think that it is a simpler process than a divorce, but that assumption isn’t necessarily based on truth. In order to qualify for an annulment one must fulfill many legal requirements and prove there was some level of fraudulence in the other spouse’s premarital statement or intent.
Things you may need to prove in order to get an annulment include:
- Lack of sexual intercourse / consummation
- Bigamy or incest
- Under the age of consent
- Force or threat was used
If you feel as though you have been forced into a marriage or became married under false pretenses, an annulment could be the best course of action for you to start the next chapter of your life.
Still have questions about the divorce or annulment process? Contact us today to discuss your case.