What Is Marriage Annulment?  

When it comes to dissolving a marriage, there might be some uncertainty about whether to file for an annulment or divorce and which choice is best. However, several basic aspects of divorces and annulments play critical roles in determining the most favorable conclusion to a marriage for one or both partners.  

Furthermore, long-term understandings may lead someone to ignore the best alternative, such as concern about whether an annulment is still possible after so many years of marriage.   

What Is a Divorce?  

Divorce is the most common way to end a marriage, and as of April 6, 2022, couples may use “no-fault divorce” to get a divorce without defining who was at fault or whose actions were more problematic. It is seen as if the marriage has ended completely after the divorce process is finalized.  

You may start the divorce process all over again after the first year of marriage.  

What Is an Annulment?  

A marriage annulment is a legal ruling that deems a marriage null and unenforceable as if it never existed in the first place.  

In general, all prenuptial agreements are regarded as illegal when a marriage is annulled since they demonstrate that the marriage was never legally genuine. In most circumstances, neither spouse has the same entitlement to the other’s personal assets or financial resources that they would have if the marriage ended.   

However, convincing the courts to grant an annulment claim may be difficult. To declare a marriage null and invalid, a court requires evidence from at least one party who believes the marriage should not have occurred. You must first meet several prerequisites to qualify for an annulment. 

What Are the Grounds for Annulment?  

Although the specific grounds for the dissolution of a marriage are determined by state law, some requirements are held worldwide. Any spouse may file for a marital annulment if they feel the need. The burden of proof is on the party who initiates the annulment procedure to establish that they have the legal right to do so. If the court can demonstrate this, it will deem the marriage unlawful and unenforceable. Law-prohibited marriages, bigamy, child marriages, forced marriages, fraud, mental illness, and incapacity to consummate the marriage are among the many grounds for annulment. 

Primary Differences Between Divorce and Annulment  

One of the primary characteristics between divorce and annulment is that divorce ends a marriage, which accounts for the differences in legal grounds and consequences. On the other hand, an annulment affirms that no marriage ever received legal recognition. If you wish to dissolve your marriage, you may file for divorce or have it annulled. Even though the majority of couples choose divorce, there are occasions in which an annulment is a better option for one or both spouses. Annulments are unusual in the legal system, and their consequences vary significantly from those of divorce.  

Does Annulment Affect Child Custody?  

Different procedures apply when dealing with child custody issues in a marriage involving children. If a couple with children files for an annulment, the marriage may be considered invalid. However, from a legal perspective, the children maintain their “legitimacy.” 

Whether or not the court can reach a custody agreement is conditional on the specifics of the case and the level of agreement between the parents. You have the option to apply for exclusive custody if you believe that contact with the other parent would negatively impact your children. However, you must provide valid reasons and evidence to support your claim, such as evidence of familial abuse.   

You may be required to file a “Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship” (or “SAPCR”) if a final and enforceable divorce decree is not yet in place. The formalities of a divorce may address this. A SAPCR may cover topics such as health insurance and child custody. 

Religious Annulment  

An institution other than a court can provide a religious annulment; this could be a church or a religious tribunal. A religious annulment cannot nullify a legally recognized marriage. Keep in mind that just because a church has granted a religious annulment doesn’t always imply a court will grant a civil annulment in your specific case. Religious institutions cannot acknowledge civil annulments finalized by the courts. 

Which Is Better: Annulment or Divorce? 

When deciding whether to seek a divorce or an annulment, no option seems to be more favorable. Both ways of dissolving a marriage may be quite costly and involve lengthy legal proceedings. On the other hand, both may be simple and cheap if both parties agree to end the relationship with as few hassles or disagreements as possible on how to do so.  

On the other hand, choosing one of the two alternatives is more about determining which one is best for you considering your circumstances, as well as determining whether you are qualified for the kind of dissolution you pick. In the latter case, you may seek the advice of an attorney, who will advise you on the many options available to you depending on your situation as well as the state or municipality in which you live.