YOUR LEGAL WAY OUT OF MARRIAGE: GENERAL GUIDELINES ON DIVORCE AND ANNULMENT
Like many marriages out there, you find your own coming down the same road. You want to know your options, and you need to decide on a route. We want you to know you’re reading the right article. We are about to guide you through this ordeal by merely letting you know your options.
Firstly, know that your legal way out of marriage is only through divorce or annulment. In both cases, of course, the first you need is your clear why and a lawyer.
However, like most people out there, many find themselves confused about these two. Some tend to misuse each other, which leads to more and more people to be confused.
So with no further ado, let us walk you through.
DEFINITIONS OF DIVORCE AND ANNULMENT
The first step in understanding these legal terms is really to have a proper perspective first. It’s essential to know the distinction of looking at both terms from the legal point of view and the church’s point of view. For this article, we will talk more from the legal point of view, which what your lawyer would mostly mean and refer to you.
Legally, there’s a big difference between divorce and annulment that divorce is ending a legally recognized, valid marriage. Whereas, an annulment is formally disproving and invalidating a marriage.
With a divorce, both spouses acknowledge that their marriage is valid and that they just wanted to dissolve, terminate, or end their valid marriage legally. The endpoint of which is declaring each spouse single again.
An annulment differs legally in the sense that it erases the marriage by declaring it null and void – as if the marriage did not happen at all. However, despite the invalidation of marriage, a record of its credits remains on the file. Also, do note that religious annulment may or may not necessarily align with the civil marriage rules.
REASONS FOR DIVORCE VS. ANNULMENT
As is with many cases already in the past, there are different reasons why marriage comes down to this. So in pursuing divorce, it is vital to know, and most likely, your attorney will inquire for your reasons and to meet at least the general criteria of one or both spouses deciding to leave the union.
Usually, divorce is the more conventional route couples take as both parties acknowledge the existence and validity of their marriage.
Annulment, however, is sought when one spouse or both claim or attest to the invalidity of their marriage.
In divorce, grounds or reasons for the action have to be laid down. But there can be a no-fault divorce wherein there’s no need for a couple to prove fault on their spouse. At least in America, this is legal and allowed in all states, although some provide conditions of the spouses to live apart from each other for a certain period before either can file. Lawyers can attest to how most filed divorces are on the grounds of “Irreconcilable differences.”
On the fault divorces, however, the common grounds include charges of abandonment, imprisonment, or adultery.
It’s important to note, though, that whatever type of divorce ever couple may choose, there are still things about the property, investments, child custody that must be settled through the court. It is usually the fault divorces that cost more and lead to monetary settlements.
In annulment, the marriage ends with at least one of the parties believing that the marriage shouldn’t have taken place. In doing this, one must have to prove that the marriage took place despite unknown facts, for example, having a child outside the marriage, or even to the degree that the spouse hid the actual state of his illness. In this case, the marriage is voidable. Annulment is usually common in issues such as bigamy or incest, making the marriage illegal in the first place.
Between states, the following legal grounds for getting an annulment may vary to typically include reasons such as:
1.One or both spouses were tricked into the marriage.
2.One or both spouses, due to mental disability, influence, or use of drugs or alcohol, are unable to decide on their wedding.
3.One or both spouses had prior marriage still existing at the time of their marriage. This reason is what legally would be charged as bigamy.
4.One or both spouses at the time of their marriage were not yet of legal age to marry.
5.The marriage is incestuous.
6.One or both spouses Concealed their major issues, such as drug abuse or criminal history.
Do note that any of these conditions met can be grounds for annulment.
Based on Materials from VeryWellMind