When a marriage comes to an end, it’s vital to take the required legal steps to officially conclude the relationship.
There are 2 ways to legally end marriages—annulments and divorces.
What Is an Annulment?
An annulment is the legal process that invalidates a marriage. Annulled marriages are erased from a legal point of view, and states that the marriage never actually occurred and was never legitimate.
Grounds for an Annulment
Whereas each individual state has its own laws in regard to grounds for marriage annulments or divorces, specific requirements apply across the nation. An annulment case can be enacted by either spouse in a marriage. The spouse enacting the annulment is required to prove that they have the grounds to do so and when it is proven, the marriage will be thought of invalid by the court. As follows, common grounds for getting an annulment:
- Either one was already married to someone else at the time of the marriage
- Coerced Consent. One of the spouses was coerced or threatened into the marriage and only got married under duress
- One of the spouses was in agreement to the marriage based on the dishonesty or fabrication of the other
- Marriage Forbidden By Law. Marriage between individuals that are based on their familial relationship is deemed incestuous
- Mental Disorder. Either spouse had a mental illness or had emotional distress at the time of the marriage
- Mental Incompetence. Either spouse was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the marriage and couldn’t make informed permission
- Unable to Consummate Marriage. Either on of the spouses was physically unable of having sexual relations or impotence throughout the marriage
- Underage Marriage. Either one of the spouses was too young to get married not having parental consent or a courts approval
Subject to the state of residence, a divorce could be a lot more convoluted than an annulment.
Similar to annulment cases, every state has their own laws when it comes divorce. In a lot of divorce cases, marital assets will be split, and debts will get settled. When there are children from the marriage, divorce proceedings establish child custody, visitation rights and spousal and/or child support matters.
What Is Divorce Legal Definition?
Divorce, or legal dissolution of marriages, is the concluding of a legitimate marriage, returning each party to single status with the capability to re-marry.
What Is a No-Fault Divorce?
Every state can have either no-fault divorces or fault divorces. A no-fault divorce enables the dissolving of a legal marriage with none of the spouses being called the “guilty party” or the one to cause the marital break-up.
A lot of states now offer the option of a no-fault divorce, the dissolving of a legal marriage which neither spouse takes blame for the marital break-up. Without a guilty party, many states necessitate a waiting period of a legal separation prior to a no-fault divorce taking place. This reasoning, in addition to cases in which one spouse wants to designate blame, a lot of spouses seek to speed up the legal process by seeking a conventional “fault” divorce.
What Is a “Fault” Divorce?
“Fault” divorces are only awarded when one spouse is able to prove suitable grounds. Like annulments, these grounds differ from each state, nevertheless, there are some underlying commonalities. These guidelines usually comprise of addiction to drugs, alcohol abuse or a gambling problem, mental illness that is incurable, and being convicted of a crime. Some primary grounds for divorce include:
- One or both of the spouses engaged in extramarital relationships with others throughout the marriage
- One of the spouses abandons the other, both physically and emotionally, for long periods of time
- Physical and/or Emotional Abuse. One of the spouses subjects the other to physical or violent attacks or emotional or psychological abuse like bullying, abusive language, and physical violence threats
Your state’s laws and specific circumstance will determine whether or not your annulment or divorce will be easy or complicated. Getting to know the laws for your specific state is the best way to find out what your rights are in cases of marital dissolutions, and to help you establish if an annulment or a divorce is right for your situation.
Banks, L. (2020, August 03). What’s the Legal Difference Between Annulment and Divorce? Retrieved January 21, 2021, from https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/whats-the-legal-difference-between-annulment-and-divorce
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