The key difference between annulment and divorce is that an annulment declares a marriage null and void while a divorce legally dissolves a marriage.
Marriage is one of the most important occasions and decision in life. For most couples, that decision could become the perfect one, but for some, it could be the worst decision in their life. For those who belong to the second category, separation would be the best way to get out of marriage. Separation requires a legal authority, which could be acquired either through an annulment or a divorce. For many people, both of these terms may mean the same i.e. the legal proceedings for dissolution of the marriage. This is partially true since both proceedings involve the dissolution of the marriage; however in a legal sense; annulment and divorce are completely different.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is an Annulment
3. What is a Divorce
4. Side by Side Comparison – Annulment vs Divorce in Tabular Form
What is an Annulment?
Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void. We consider an annulled marriage to be invalid from the beginning. This is almost as if the marriage had never taken place.
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 for your situation.
What is a Divorce?
We can define divorce as a legal dissolution of a marriage by a court of law. In other words, it is the legal termination of a marriage. Divorce laws vary from country to country. In a divorce, the court decides on each other aspect such as child support, alimony (spousal support), division of property, visitation and custody. Furthermore, divorce is different from annulments and legal separation.
Grounds for divorce are regulations that specify the circumstances under which a person can obtain a divorce. Some most common grounds for divorce include adultery, domestic violence, desertion, and alcoholism. There are also different types of divorce such as contested divorce, uncontested divorce, at-fault divorce, no-fault divorce, and collaborative divorce.
What is the Difference Between Annulment and Divorce?
The key difference between annulment and divorce lies in the fact that the former is a legal proceeding in order to obtain a decree which states the marriage was invalid from the very beginning, while 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 the divorce decree stops the relationship between both the parties from continuing. In annulment procedures, the court of law assumes that the marriage is not legal or not valid, so there no dissolution of marriage. The court declares that the marriage of the couple as invalid.
As far as the legal actions are concerned, annulment proceedings are generally quite less messy, when compared to the divorce procedures, which could be quite lengthy. Many annulment proceedings don’t take into account other aspects such as division of property, alimony, custody, etc. whereas in divorce the court decides on many of these aspects.
Summary – Annulment vs Divorce
In a legal sense, annulment and divorce are completely different. The key difference between annulment and divorce is that an annulment declares a marriage null and void while a divorce legally dissolves a marriage.
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