Divorce Versus Annulment: What’s The Difference?

divorce agreement being signed

There are countries where the only legal option for separation is an annulment. An example of this is the Philippines, a country where divorce is still illegal and quite frankly, impossible.

Luckily for other countries like the US, divorce is an option for areas like Santa Fe, NM. A ton of people might be asking what the difference between a divorce and annulment is. Some may even wonder if one is better than the other. There are also others who are currently deciding whether to get the former or the latter.

Let’s start with defining what divorce is. Essentially, divorce is legal proof that a couple’s marriage has ended before the death of either one. The process will also involve the division of assets, child custody, as well as spousal support. When the divorce is finalized, the divorcees now have the choice to remarry or be in a domestic partnership with a different party. Although it may also be advised that they focus on themselves, that is totally up to them.

The grounds for divorce have two different categories: the “no-fault divorce” and the “fault-based divorce.”

No-fault divorces empower a couple to acknowledge differences that cannot be reconciled or to recognize a loss in affection. Some would put it simply that “the sparks are gone.” No one is to blame for this type of divorce.

On the other hand, fault-based divorces blame either one of the spouses or even both of them. These usually arise from abusive marriages, infidelity from one of the spouses, abandonment, as well as substance abuse. This type of divorce opts to skip the required waiting period and also aims to persuade the court in matters that relate to child custody, child support, spousal support, and the division of assets.

Moving on, an annulment erases the existence of the marriage in the first place. However, if there are children involved, their rights and legitimacy are not affected by the annulment.

couple signing annulment form

An annulment is similar to a fault-based divorce wherein it seeks to blame one of the spouses to justify the filing of the case. There are several grounds for annulling a marriage, and the following are the most common ones:

1. Fraud

This may occur if one of the spouses decides to keep a vital fact in secrecy. An example of this is the ability to conceive children. If the guilty spouse knew beforehand that he or she is infertile and decides to tell the unknowing spouse afterwards, then the marriage may be annulled. This also holds true in the case that one of the spouses have substantial financial debt.

2. Clouded Decisions

Vegas is fun and all, but getting legally married when you’re either high or drunk is a pain in the ass. Spouses might opt for an annulment if they were under the influence at the time of the marriage.

Some of you may think that this is unreal, but it really happens.

3. Bigamy

Continuing down the path of weird reasons for annulling marriages is bigamy. Some people are just deceptive, and if you find out after a wedding, an annulment can come your way.

Essentially, the difference between a divorce and an annulment is that the latter can only be achieved on a fault basis.

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