The Differences Between a Divorce and an Annulment

Divorces and annulments are both legal ways of ending a marriage, but there are differences between them.

What is an Annulment?

Unlike a divorce, an annulment essentially deletes the record of your marriage because, for one reason or another, the marriage is deemed invalid. The grounds for an annulment vary by location, so you should consult with an annulment attorney NJ, and familiarize yourself with your state’s laws. Most states consider concealing information, incest, fraud or lack of consent to be valid reasons for an annulment.

If the couple has already combined assets or had children together, then they will have to divide assets and determine custody of the children. If they cannot come to an agreement on these issues, they will have to attend a court proceeding just like couples filing for divorce.

What is a Divorce?

Divorce is a legal way of ending a marriage without erasing the record of the marriage. Though both parties are able to remarry after a divorce, their former marriage will still be considered a valid marriage that has since been terminated. Couples can file for a fault or no-fault divorce based on their situation. A fault divorce occurs when the blame for ending the relationship can be placed on one person. Reasons for fault divorces can include infidelity or abuse. No-fault divorces occur when neither party is to be blamed for the separation, for example, when a couple simply drifts apart.

When filing for divorce, the couple must divide assets and determine custody and visitation rights of their children. These decisions are made final by divorce proceedings and custody hearings.

Whether a divorce or annulment is right for you depends on your situation and the circumstances surrounding your marriage. If, for some reason, you feel that your marriage can now be deemed invalid, you may consider petitioning for an annulment. Otherwise, divorce is most likely the best option for ending your marriage.