A marriage can end through a divorce or annulment. Many people cannot tell apart these two legal processes. A family attorney will help you determine whether you should get a divorce or annulment. Here are some frequently asked questions about divorce and annulment.
What Is a Divorce Versus an Annulment?
A divorce is the dissolution of marriage. For a divorce to be viable, the marriage should be legal. This means the involved parties married, and no factors would have invalidated their union.
On the other hand, an annulment doesn't end a marriage but declares that it never existed. A family lawyer will advise you to get an annulment if your marriage wasn't valid. The common thing with divorce and annulment is the parties are single and free to remarry in the end.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce?
When filing for a divorce, you'll be either following no-fault divorce laws or fault-based divorce statutes. Your family lawyer will advise you on the laws that apply to your jurisdiction. In a no-fault divorce, you don't have to blame the other spouse. The main grounds for no-fault divorces include irremediable breakdown, irreconcilable differences, and loss of affection.
A fault-based divorce is where your spouse bears the blame for the dissolution of the marriage. The grounds for fault-based divorces include abandonment, adultery, drug and alcohol abuse, and domestic violence. Your family attorney may ask you to pursue a fault-based divorce to get a favorable court ruling regarding child support, alimony, child custody, and the division of property.
What Are the Grounds for Annulment?
The grounds for annulment center on situations in which a person would have never chosen to get married. One of the grounds for annulment is fraud. This is when one spouse lies about a crucial thing like their age or marital status.
Concealment and misunderstanding are other grounds for pursuing an annulment. For example, if your spouse hid from you the fact that they had a felony conviction. There may be a misunderstanding where one of the spouses didn't want children. Other reasons for an annulment include impotence and lack of the mental capacity to consent.
How Child Support and Alimony Are Determined?
An annulment erases your marriage but doesn't affect your child's right to support. A husband is deemed the father of any children resulting from a marriage that ends in either an annulment or divorce. Therefore, the courts will use the same measures to grant child support awards for annulments and divorce.
However, if you seek an annulment, you're waiving the right to spousal support. A divorce dissolves the marriage, but you can still ask your ex-spouse for support. An annulment declares the marriage null and void; therefore, you have no grounds for claiming alimony.
For more information, contact a divorce lawyer.