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What is Divorce and Annulment?

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What is Divorce and Annulment? A divorce is a legal order that puts an end to a marriage before the passing of either spouse. Throughout divorce proceedings, a court can resolve matters of child custody, asset division, spousal support, and/or alimony. Following a divorce becoming final, the spouses are no longer bound by law to each other, and are free to get remarried or enter into a domestic partnership with another individual. Annulment is a legal process that declares a marriage null and void, as if it never existed. Unlike divorce, which terminates a valid marriage, annulment asserts that the marriage was invalid or void from the beginning.

What are legal grounds to get divorced?

Spouses can opt to file for a “no fault” or “fault based” divorce.

  • No Fault Divorces. No fault divorce regulations enable a spouse to file for divorce without placing blame on the other spouse for the breakup. Grounds for a no fault divorce comprise of irreconcilable differences, irreversible breakdown and loss of fondness.
  • Fault Based Divorces. A lot of states also enable a spouse to acquire a fault based divorce. Grounds for fault based divorces comprise of adultery, desertion, domestic abuse, and drug and/or alcohol abuse. Spouses may opt to acquire a fault based divorce to avoid the required interval or to persuade the court’s decisions concerning child custody and support, spousal support, and asset division.

What are the differences between a divorce and an annulment?

Annulments are legal orders that a marriage is invalid. Annulments are awarded when a court makes a discovery a marriage is null and void. Whereas a divorce legally ends a valid marriage, an annulment handles the marriage as if it were never in existence. The outcome of an annulment is the same as it is for divorce—those involved are single and can re-marry or enter a domestic partnership with another individual. In addition, like with divorce, the court presiding over annulment proceedings may determine matters of child custody and/or support, spousal maintenance, and asset division.

What are the grounds for acquiring an annulment?

The grounds for annulment differ from state to state. Usually, nevertheless, an annulment may be acquired due to the marriage:

  • being incestuous.
  • being bigamous.
  • taking place when one or both of those involved were formally married or in a domestic partnership that was registered.
  • being the result of coercion, deception, or physical or mental debility.
  • taking place when one or both of those involved were below the legal age to get married.
  • taking place when one or both of those involved were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

What are the differences between divorces and legal separations?

Legal separations are a legally accepted separation between spouses. Legal separations do not end the marriage and each of the spouses are forbidden from getting remarried or entering into a domestic partnership with another individual. Just living apart or are in agreement to separate for an interval of time does not constitute a legal separation in a lot of states. Nevertheless, many states regard the date of permanent separation, instead of the date of legal separation, when establishing the length of the marriage for the aim of marital asset division.

How do I establish if divorce, an annulment, or legal separation is the best decision for my situation?

Deciding whether to get divorced, have your marriage annulled or legally separating is a personal determination. For instance, individual religious beliefs might lead a spouse to want an annulment of marriage instead of a divorce. Nevertheless, not all procedures are equally accessible to everyone. The grounds for acquiring an annulment are sometimes very restricted. When a union doesn’t qualify for annulment, the couple needs to decide whether to separate or file for divorce. Many states require that couples be married in a state for a specific amount of time prior to them obtaining a divorce in that state. For instance, California has a requirement that a married couple to reside in the state for 6 months prior to them filing for divorce. In that instance, a couple might choose to be legally separated for an amount of time prior to seeking to dissolve their marriage.

Is it required for me to hire a lawyer to acquire a divorce, legal separation, or annulment?

It is not required for you to hire a lawyer prior to acquiring a divorce, legal separation, or annulment. Nevertheless, couples may think about getting legal representation to guide them through the intricacies of child custody, spousal maintenance, and asset division.

Source:

  1. Ending a marriage: Divorce, separation & Annulment FAQs. (2021, January 18). Retrieved June 03, 2021, from https://www.justia.com/family/divorce/docs/ending-a-marriage-faq/

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