A common question our team of family law attorneys gets asked all the time is if there is a difference between a divorce and an annulment? After all, both proceedings mark the legal end of a marriage, leading many people to believe they are one and the same. But trust us — there are significant differences.
Below is a brief overview of divorce and annulment and the differences between the two:
What is a divorce?
A divorce is defined as the legal dissolution of legal or common-law marriage by a Court of law. You and your spouse are saying that you do not want to be husband and wife anymore, and if you have proper grounds (or reasons) for the divorce, the Court will grant it for you. In Texas, you must prove at least one legal reason for divorce, commonly broken up into two types: at-fault and no-fault.
At-fault grounds: Adultery, abuse, felony conviction, abandonment
No-fault grounds: Insupportability, living apart, Confinement in a mental hospital
After a divorce is considered final, spouses can go their separate ways. With that said, parents are still obligated to support their children either through court-ordered child support or child custody.
What is an annulment?
If being divorced in the eyes of the law is not enough, and you want to go so far as to say your marriage never existed, that is called an annulment. Unlike a divorce, where you are still recognized as having been married previously, an annulment says the marriage is “null and void.” The law no longer recognizes it.
There are several reasons why one or both spouses may choose to have their marriage annulled:
- The marriage was never valid (forced marriage, intoxication, one spouse was underage, incest)
- One spouse is already married to someone else
- One spouse committed fraud against the other
- Mental incapacity
- Permanent impotence (unable to have children)
To officially file for an annulment, you must complete a document called A Suit to Declare Void the Marriage and file it in the county where either you or your spouse live. Please be specific with any pertinent information the court will need to know, including if there are children involved and if any specific property needs to be divided by the court.
Parents are still obligated to support their children, regardless of whether they get a divorce or an annulment.
Call Nelson Law Group Today!
A divorce is a significant, life-changing event, and the effects of this difficult time will undoubtedly be felt for a while. But if you can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for you and your family, perhaps this is the right time to push forward with a new life.
Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC, a call if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today!
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