The difference between divorce and legal annulment

If you wish to end your domestic partnership or marriage, you can receive a divorce or annulment. There are some similarities between these two options but there are also a few distinct differences you should be aware of. If you’re a Delaware resident, here is some important information about divorce and legal annulment.

Divorce vs annulment

Divorce is the termination of dissolving of a legal marriage. Once the divorce is final, both spouses who were previously in the marriage are declared single.

Annulment, on the other hand, is a legal decision that deems the marriage null and void, indicating that the marriage was never valid. Keep in mind that once the annulment is granted, the marriage records may still be on file.

Legal grounds for divorce and annulment

“Grounds” are the reasons why a legal ruling is justified. While there are several reasons why people tend to opt for divorce instead of annulment, both processes can end the marriage.

Grounds for divorce can include incarceration, adultery, or spousal abandonment. For a no-fault divorce, neither spouse has to prove the fault of the other. “Irreconcilable differences” is often cited as the reason for a no-fault divorce.

An annulment ends a marriage if at least one spouse believes the marriage should never have happened. The rules of annulment vary by state, but an annulment will usually be granted if one or both parties were tricked or forced into marriage or if one or both spouses were unable to agree to the marriage due to disability or intoxication. An annulment will also be granted if one spouse hid important information from the other (i.e. criminal activity, drug use).

It is important to review the circumstances of the marriage to determine which termination option is best.