Annulment Vs. Divorce

hen it comes to learning about legal dissolution of a marriage or union, you may have heard of both annulment and divorce. What is the difference between the two, and which process fits your situation the most? Here is the rundown between what these two legal processes are.

What is an Annulment?

There are technically two types of annulment, civil and religious annulment. Though one is recognized in court and the other in the Catholic Church, both have the same result: the marriage or union is constituted as void and nulled, essentially like it never existed in the first place. There can be a few reasons why you would be able to get an annulment, such as:


  • Fraud or misrepresentation (one spouse lied to the other to get them into marriage)
  • Concealment
  • Lack of consent (you may have been under 18 or were forced in another way into the marriage)
  • Bigamy (one spouse was already married before entering into this union)
  • Incest (spouses are closely related by blood)

What is a Divorce?

A divorce also terminates a marriage or union, but unlike the annulment, the divorce still recognizes the spouses were married at some point. Divorce is the most common way to end a marriage, and reasons for termination differ from reasons that would grant someone an annulment. Some of the reasons spouses may opt for divorce include:


  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Mental or physical abuse
  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Unfulfilled expectations between spouses
  • Unending conflict between ideas such as child-rearing, culture, household operations, etc.

Other Differences Between Divorce and Annulment

The biggest difference between divorce and annulment is that divorce acknowledges that the marriage did happen, while annulment completely voids the marriage. In terms of the legal process of petitioning for a divorce or annulment, it is generally similar. Legal counsel for either of these processes is always recommended. Child custody and support are generally handled in the same manner for divorce and annulment. Though divorce does entail possible spousal support and division of assets, annulment is the opposite. With annulment, there is no spousal support provided, and in terms of assets, the objective after annulment is to leave both parties in the same position they were in before the wedding was held.

Looking For Legal Aid During Your Divorce/Annulment?

Though the divorce and annulment process may be two distinct things, having a legal expert at your side throughout the process can make everything run much smoother. If you are looking for a divorce lawyer in Carlsbad to provide you with unmatched expertise while you go through the divorce or annulment process, we’ve got you covered. At The Law Offices of Marc Duxbury, you will work with a family law lawyer that can offer professional legal advice as you navigate through a divorce or annulment. The dissolution of a marriage through divorce or annulment can require a lot of time and effort, especially when it comes to paperwork and other tasks. Let a legal expert from our team help!

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