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Difference Between Annulment and Divorce

Annulment vs Divorce

DivorceMarriage is one of the most important occasions and decision in life.  For most of the couples that decision could become the perfect one and for others it could be the worst decision in their life. Those who are belonging to the second category, the separation would be the best way to get out of the mess.  A separation requires a legal authority, which could be acquired either through an annulment or a divorce. Although divorce and annulment are commonly used terms, however most of the people don’t know the actual difference between those two. For many of the people both of these terms are same i.e. the legal proceedings for dissolution of the marriage. This is partially true, since both proceedings are intended at dissolution of the marriage, however in legal sense; annulment and divorce are completely different. There are several details associated with annulment and divorce, which will be discussed here.

Divorce and Annulment

Most of us know that annulment and divorce are associated to dissolution of marriage. Then what is the distinction between divorce and annulment? Once a married couple makes a decision to separate, they could either initiate a divorce proceeding or an annulment proceeding.

Generally there are two kinds of annulment proceedings such as civil annulment and religious annulment. The civil annulment is generally conducted by the state and the religious annulment is conducted by the church. The annulment which is discussed in this article is civil annulment, since the religious annulment procedure is different for every different religious authority. A basic idea about the several aspects of both legal proceedings could help in selecting the ideal one, which is ideal for your situations.

Most of the couples go for the legal separation without the divorce, where the court decides on each other aspect such as child support, alimony, division of property, visitation and custody.

Coming to annulment versus divorce, the main distinction between the two lies in the fact that the former is a legal proceeding  in order to obtain a decree which the marriage was invalid from the very starting, but a divorce proceeding is instigated to end a valid marriage.  In short, in a divorce, the court knows marriage is valid or legally married but through the divorce decree, stops the relationship between both the parties and stops from continuing. Whereas in annulment procedures the court of law assumes that the marriage is not legal or not valid marriage and there is not dissolution of marriage. The court declares that the marriage of the couple as invalid.

Now you might know the actual difference between the annulment and divorce that are law terms which could be confusing for several people. As far as the legal actions are concerned, the annulment proceedings are generally quite less messy, when compared to the divorce procedures that could be quite lengthy. Many of the annulment proceedings don’t take into account, other aspects such as division of property, alimony, custody etc, whereas in divorce, generally the court decides on many of these aspects.


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