Couples often consider divorce the only option when a marriage is not working out. However, in some cases, annulment may be a better solution. While annulment and divorce end a marriage, the two have significant differences. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between annulment and divorce and help you understand which option may be best for you.
What is Annulment?
Annulment is a legal process that declares a marriage null and void as if it never happened. You must prove that the marriage was invalid from the start to obtain an annulment. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as:
- One or both parties were already married
- One or both parties were underage
- The marriage was forced or coerced
- One or both parties were unable to consent due to mental incapacity or intoxication
- The marriage was fraudulent, such as a marriage for immigration purposes
You may be eligible for an annulment if you prove that your marriage falls under one of these categories.
What is Divorce?
Divorce, on the other hand, is the legal process of ending a valid marriage. You do not need to prove that the marriage was invalid to obtain a divorce. Instead, you must show that irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse have led to the breakdown of the marriage.
Key Differences Between Annulment and Divorce
There are several critical differences between annulment and divorce that you should be aware of:
- Legal status: An annulment declares that the marriage never existed, while a divorce ends a valid marriage.
- Grounds for filing: Annulment requires proof of an invalid marriage, while divorce only requires irreconcilable differences.
- Timeframe: Annulment must be filed within a specific timeframe, while divorce can be filed at any time.
- Division of property: In an annulment, the property is divided as if the marriage never existed. In a divorce, the property is divided based on community property laws.
- Spousal support: In an annulment, spousal support may not be awarded. In a divorce, spousal support may be awarded based on several factors.
Which Option Is Best for You?
Determining whether annulment or divorce is your best option will depend on your circumstances. If your marriage was invalid, an annulment may be the best option. However, divorce may be the way to go if you have irreconcilable differences with your spouse.
At Baxter Harder, LLC, we understand that every situation is unique. Our experienced attorneys can help you determine which option is best for you and guide you through the legal process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. (541) 238-9210