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What is the Difference Between a Divorce and an Annulment?

Whenever someone gets married, they are never thinking about what will occur if their relationship takes a turn for the worse. Marriage is a legally binding agreement that joins a couple together and provides an opportunity to start a life together. When things aren’t working out, married couples often turn to a divorce lawyer to help them being a new chapter of their life. There are two terms that are common when a married couple looks to end their marriage, divorce and annulment. Both terms refer to the dissolution of a marriage, but they have several differences that are worth noting as well. Keep reading on below to learn the differences between a divorce and an annulment so that you can make the right decision for your unique situation.

A divorce is the most common way to end a marriage. It can occur for a variety of reasons and involves dividing up assets from the marriage, figuring out who gets custody of children, and determining alimony payments. It always helps to have a great divorce attorney to help out during the process of a divorce. The key fact to remember with a divorce is that it was a legal binding agreement that was valid when the couple obtained their marriage license. They both wanted to get married and now they are ready to separate by filing for divorce.

An annulment is also a way to end a marriage, but there is one key difference between it and a divorce. An annulment treats the marriage as if the union was not legitimate to begin with. It can occur for a variety of reasons. There are typically two types of annulments, a religious annulment and a civil annulment. Religious annulments are essentially determined by the church. Civil annulments, on the other hand, are decided by the law. An annulment essentially erases a marriage completely, but children from the marriage are still taken care of based on the state’s legal process.

Some of the most common grounds for annulment include situations related to fraud and misrepresentation. For example, if you get married to someone and they hide or misrepresent something that would affect your decision, you are likely to have grounds for annulment. Imagine marrying someone without knowing that they were already married and had kids from a prior marriage. Perhaps your spouse lied about their age or concealed the fact that they are a felon. Finding out things like that after you have already gotten married might change your opinion of that person and the relationship. Marrying someone that is underage or unable to consummate the marriage are also ground for annulment.

If you have more questions about divorce or annulment, you can always reach out to The Johnson Law Firm & Associates for advice. We are experts in family law and divorce cases and can help you determine the best course of action for your own unique scenario. Contact us today to learn more.