Two ways to end a marriage are a divorce and an annulment. They can both be used in different situations, but it’s important not to confuse the two. There are some stark differences that need to be considered.
For one thing, an annulment can only be used on specific grounds. Examples include if someone already had a living spouse, if either person lacked the mental capacity to get married, if it turned out that the individuals were related, if someone was underage or if one person was forced or coerced into getting married. With a divorce, you typically do not need a reason to end the marriage. But you cannot get an annulment without showing that it is justified.
Voiding your marriage
The other difference is that a divorce ends a legal marriage. You have to go through the process of dividing assets, dividing time with your children and much more. The divorce process is so long because the court has to make sure that you disconnect your lives properly. You were married, and you are now breaking that contract and ending the relationship.
With an annulment, you’re not breaking the contract at all. It is simply being voided. It is as if the two of you were never married in the first place. Often, an annulment is given out very shortly after a wedding. The couple will not have any possessions to split up, they won’t have children together, and they don’t have to take all of these other steps. So they simply void the contract, and then it is as if they were never married – which is markedly different than being married and then divorced.
If you and your partner are ending your relationship and things have gotten to be a bit complicated, take the time to carefully look into all of your legal options.