How Annulments and Divorces Differ
- Posted on: Aug 28 2019
If you’re ready to end your marriage, there may be several different options available to you. For most people, divorce is how they will dissolve their marriage, but for some, an annulment may actually be an option. Knowing how the two differ is the key to knowing which one applies in your case.
A divorce occurs when the court legally dissolves your marriage. Your assets and debts will be divided among the two of you, by court order if necessary, and other issues such as child support, alimony, and custody will be decided. There are a number of different grounds for divorce, including no-fault and at-fault. Your marriage will not be erased following the divorce—it will remain upon your official court record for the rest of your life.
An annulment, on the other hand, is when the court finds that your marriage is invalid for whatever reason. This results in the marriage being declared null and void. It’s as if the marriage had never occurred. Like a divorce, the annulment will be entered into public record, but unlike divorce, the marriage is seen as never having existed at all. This means any benefits, arraignments, or contracts between the single individuals that ended with the marriage are restored. For example, if you were married before and were getting alimony from your ex-spouse that ended when you remarried, you may be entitled to that support again because legally, your second marriage never happened.
Getting an annulment is much more difficult than getting a divorce. You must meet one of the very specific criteria for having a marriage annulled. These include the following:
- You/your spouse was already married to someone else at the time of the marriage.
- You and your spouse are closely related (incestuous marriage).
- You were forced into the marriage or were, at the time, mentally or physically incapable of consenting to the marriage.
- One of you was under the legal marrying age (18 in New York).
- You or your spouse were drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time of the marriage.
Getting an annulment is much easier if you have a lawyer on your side who is familiar with the law surrounding annulments. The FK Law Group has worked on a wide number of annulment and divorce cases, and we’re here to help. Contact us today to discuss your case.