Family Law Blog: Annulment Versus Divorce

Divorce is what usually comes to mind when society thinks about the separation of two people. Although divorce is more commonplace, annulment has a place for couples under the right circumstances. 

The Difference Between Annulment and Divorce     

Annulment occurs when spouses want their marriage to be considered null and void under the law. Annulments can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year. The main difference between annulment and divorce is that an annulment treats the marriage as if it never occurred. A divorce ends up resulting in a valid marriage that had a previous life. An annulment, on the other hand, considers the marriage void — essentially like it never happened. Much like divorce after an annulment, courts will proceed to look over alimony, child custody, and how to divide the assets. Some annulments can be denied if the deciding party does not agree that the couple‚Äôs marriage can be annulled. They can still separate, but it will not legally be erased as if it never happened. 

Grounds for Annulment 

The grounds for annulment tend to be more intense than divorce. Some examples include: 

  • Bigamy: When a spouse was in a pervious marriage that was not terminated at the time the current marriage began. This does not count if the person divorced their partner but continued to live with them. 
  • Fraud: When one spouse lied or hid something something vital to the marriage from the other person. 
  • Forced marriage: If the marriage occurred under duress or if someone forced the marriage upon them, annulment is often a possibility. 

Requesting an Annulment 

Annulments may be requested by filing a form to request the marriage void. Your annulment request must come with all the important information regarding the union and separation. Information such as the date of the marriage and the date you and your partner separated is important. If you have children, the document must include how custody, support, and visitation will be split up. Laws can vary between the states when it comes to annulment. Texas law allows couples to have a hearing in front of a judge or jury. If it is agreed upon by the jury or judge, the marriage will be declared void. A divorce lawyer, such as a divorce lawyer in Arlington, TX, can answer questions and figure out whether a divorce or annulment is the right fit for you. 

In conclusion, annulment and divorce are not identical in their results, but an annulment can offer a different route that can be valuable when the situation requires it.

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into divorce versus annulment.