Understanding The Differences Between An Annulment And a Divorce

Ending a marriage and separating from the person with whom you thought you would spend your life is never easy. If you are unhappy with your spouse, you are probably exploring your legal options for separation. Therefore, you must be aware of the terms annulment and divorce. However, before deciding on a procedure, you must know the legal differences between them. 

While you can use both options to end your marriage legally, they require different kinds of evidence. A Columbus divorce attorney can analyze your case and suggest the best, and most suitable option. It is essential to choose the correct procedure to avoid rejection or delay. 

What Is an annulment?

Basically, an annulment is a declaration that your marriage technically never existed. It is a legal procedure to end your marriage and erase it from the legal perspective. When you get an annulment, your marriage is considered null and void and legally invalid. 

When To Get An Annulment?

An annulment can be requested by any of the parties. If you or your spouse or both of you think that your marriage should not have happened in the first place, you can get an annulment. However, you need first to establish that your marriage was not legal. 

The following are the standard grounds for getting an annulment. 

  1. Your spouse was married to someone else at the time of the marriage. 
  2. You have familial relationships (incest) with your spouse that you did not know about.
  3. Your marriage was agreed on lies and misrepresentation.
  4. One of the spouses was underage during the marriage (by law). 
  5. One of the spouses was mentally unstable during the marriage and thus could not correctly give consent. 

What Is Divorce?

Divorce is a legal dissolution of marriage. Unlike annulment, a divorce does not establish your marriage as invalid; and instead, it is a declaration that your relationship with your spouse is officially over. After a divorce, both parties return to the status of being single and are allowed to remarry. 

No-Fault Divorce

A no-fault divorce does not require the spouses to put forward reasons for ending their marriage. Therefore, no one is to blame. It is a legal process of ending your marriage without labeling either party as “guilty.” You do not have to show the court the reasons for ending your marriage. 

Fault Divorce

A fault divorce is a way to end a marriage by proving the fault of one of the spouses. You have to bring up evidence and legal arguments in court to verify that your spouse is responsible for the separation of you two. The standard grounds of divorce are as follows. 

  1. Desertion of one spouse by the other, emotionally and physically. 
  2. Involvement of adultery of one spouse with a person other than their husband/wife. 
  3. Physical or emotional abuse of one spouse by the other. 

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