Annulment and divorce are legal procedures used for dissolving a marriage. The primary difference between the two is that annulment nullifies a marriage, making it seem as if there was no marriage to begin with. A divorce, on the other hand, just officially ends a marriage. If you’re deciding between a divorce and an annulment, it’s immensely critical that you understand their difference.
Why Most People Choose Divorce
For most people, divorce is the most practical option. It’s cheaper and usually faster than getting an annulment, particularly if both spouses want to end their relationship amicably and with no fuss. In addition, many states like New York have no-fault divorce statutes. This means that you don’t have to say why you want to end your marriage, explains top divorce lawyers in Nassau County.
If you’re leaning towards a fault divorce, however, you have to prove that you have sufficient grounds for divorcing your spouse and meet specific conditions, just as you would with an annulment.
Why Some People Opt for Annulment
There are many valid reasons people choose an annulment over a divorce. For you to get one, you should be able to show — beyond a reasonable doubt — that your marriage should have been invalidated from the beginning. Some of the most common reasons for choosing annulment include:
- Both spouses are close relatives due to adoption or marriage, or true blood relatives.
- Either or both spouses were still married legally to another individual when they married the other spouse.
- Either or both the spouses were impotent, so they couldn’t consummate their marriage.
- Either or both spouses weren’t of legal age when they got married.
- Either or both spouses were mentally challenged or incompetent when they got married.
- Either or both spouses were forced into marrying.
- Either or both spouses failed to divulge critical details, including being impotent, having a sexually transmitted disease, or a criminal history, which makes the marriage fraudulent under the law.
Which Should You Choose?
Deciding to get a divorce or annulment is a personal decision and one that, preferably, must be made with your spouse, if possible. Regardless of your decision, however, you would still need to address issues specific to divorce and annulment such as child custody and support, alimony, and distribution of property. To help you make a more informed choice, consult a local divorce attorney to learn more about your options.