Thinking about ending your marriage? Legally, you have two options: Annulment and Divorce. The Edmunds Law Firm explains each, to help you better understand the difference between the two:
An annulment completely erases a marriage, declaring it never technically existed and wasn’t ever valid. A divorce, on the other hand, ends a valid marriage, returning both parties to single status.
Although each state has its own laws in terms of an annulment or for a divorce, certain requirements apply nationwide.
The party initiating an annulment must prove they have reason to do so and so, the marriage will be then considered null and void by the court. Common grounds for an annulment are:
- Forced Consent
- Marriage Prohibited By Law (Incest)
- Mental Illness
- Mental Incapacity (Under the Influence)
- Inability to Consummate Marriage
- Underage Marriage
In most divorce cases, marital assets are divided and all debts are settled. A divorce proceeding will also determine custody of children, visitation rights, and spousal support and child support issues, if so needed. There is also “no-fault” divorce and “fault” divorce.
Not all states offer the “no-fault” divorce option. For those that do, many times in the absence of a “guilty party,” the couple will have to be legally separated for a certain amount of time before a divorce can take place.
A “fault” divorce, however, is only established when one spouse has sufficient proof. Much like an annulment, grounds vary from state to state, but there are similar standard guidelines:
- Physical/Emotional Abuse
Your state law and individual situation will determine the complexity of an annulment or divorce.
Thinking About A Divorce?
If you find yourself faced with divorce and need professional and compassionate advice on how to handle this difficult time, please call the Top Divorce Lawyers in San Diego – The Edmunds Law Firm at (760) 634-7630 or fill out their online contact form. Our attorneys are experienced and skilled in divorce cases, having over 33 years of experience in the state of California.