Divorce vs. Annulment – The Difference Between

The difference between divorce and annulment

Every couple starts their married lives together in a state of happiness. For many this continues for the rest of their lives, but for others the decision to get married is one they come to regret. For those who realize that they made the wrong decision, it is best to go through the process of a separation.

In order to separate in a marriage, you must go through a legal authority to obtain either a divorce or an annulment. Both of these end the marriage but the process is different. Although the majority of people think that the both mean the same thing, this is not the case. Yes, they are both legal proceedings that result in the marriage being dissolved but the process involved is different in each one.

Divorce vs. Annulment

When a married couple decides that the marriage is no longer working they have a choice between seeking an annulment of the marriage or a decree of divorce. There are two types of annulments – a religious annulment and a civil annulment. The civil annulment has to be carried out by the government and a religious annulment is the domain of the church. Religious annulments differ from one religion to another and involve different types of paperwork. Civil annulments are generally the same, there are different types of legal proceedings.

Many couples opt for legal separation and the court decides on the amount of alimony and child support to be paid, custody of the children and visitation rights and the manner in which the property and assets are to be divided.

When couples get divorced, they are legally separated and the divorce decree states that they were married and now they are not. An annulment is different in that it wipes out the fact that a marriage took place. The court or religious institution assumes that the marriage wasn’t legal. The marriage is not dissolved, it is declared to be invalid.

Annulment is not as messy as a divorce and doesn’t take the same length of time to complete. Division of property, alimony, child support and custody are not considered in an annulment.