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Divorce and Annulment – What is the Difference?

Difference between Divorce and Annulment:

Divorce refers to the decree issued by the court that terminates a legal marriage. Whereas annulment stands for nullifying a union which is already questionable both legally and religiously.

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A couple decides to file for a divorce after taking in account certain circumstances which makes their living together impossible. They seize to live as husband and wife upon the decision received from a divorce court.

The decision of divorce brings host of other issues that include division of marital property, alimony, child custody, child support and child visitations etc.

Grounds for Divorce and Annulment:

Grounds leading to divorce and annulment bear a sharp contrast to each other.

In case of divorce, grounds for divorce are desertion, adultery, cruel treatment, imprisonment, institutionalization, domestic violence, habitual alcoholism, abnormal sexual conduct, non-disclosure of facts, different personal beliefs and increase in martial dissatisfaction.

Divorce increases the responsibilities of the divorcing couple and brings around more monetary pressure on the spouses.

Where as in contrast annulment is a decree issued by a divorce court stating that the marriage never existed. The court nullifies an already void marriage.

In case of annulment, as the petition for annulment is usually filed within a short period after marriage, issues of marital property division and child issues do not usually arise. But in case if petition for annulment is filed after a longer time court looks into the matters of property distribution, temporary alimony and child custody etc.

Grounds for Annulment are: Marriage when one spouse is under aged, marriage under duress, due to non-disclosure of previously existing marriage by one spouse, mental or physical incapability (permanent or temporary) or fraud.

Divorce and annulment are as different from each other as they can be, except for the fact that in both cases couples are single again and are allowed to remarry.

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