Whether you are going through a divorce or an annulment, understanding the differences between the two can save you from making the wrong decision. For starters, a divorce is just a legal process of terminating a marriage, while an annulment seeks to prove that the marriage never existed in the first place. You will want to know how to make the distinction in annulment vs. divorce cases to help strengthen your case. This is where a Tacoma divorce attorney comes in handy. Before hiring one, here are the major differences you should know between the two.
Differences Between an Annulment and Divorce?
In annulment vs divorce cases, various things differentiate the two. For instance, an annulment comes in two forms:
- Civil annulment- A legal procedure that ends your marriage.
- Religious annulments- Are conducted by a church and do not necessarily terminate a marriage.
During an annulment, the court will seek to prove that the marriage never existed in the first place. The difference between the two is the outcome.
A divorce not only recognizes the marriage, but it also sums up as a means to terminate a marital union. This means you can still pursue other things that brought the two of you together, including property, child custody, alimony and child support.
What qualifies an annulment?
An annulment does not come about as an alternative to a divorce. The following situations may form a solid ground for an annulment:
Bigamy is a situation where someone gets married to a new person while still being married elsewhere. It is illegal to get married without seeking a divorce from your ex-spouse. In this case, an annulment will be granted to declare the new marriage null and void.
- An Underage Partner
The legal age for marriage is 18 years. When either or both of the couple are underage, the court may impose an annulment. If they continue living together until the underage spouse turns 18, both of them can waive the annulment.
- Fraud or misrepresentation
Fraud is when one spouse fails to disclose essential things that define a marriage. This may include financial debts, inability to sire children, or a past criminal offense. The court may fail to grant an annulment if the innocent spouse found out about the marital fraud, but did not separate from the guilty spouse.
- Mental incapacitation or Substance Abuse
Sometimes, your spouse’s involvement in drugs or alcohol may interfere with the sanctity of your marriage. You are entitled to seek an annulment on the grounds of lacking the mental capacity to fulfill marital obligations.
A Tacoma Divorce Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you know is looking for someone to answer all their questions concerning a divorce or an annulment, an attorney at Alliance Law Group will be ready to help. We understand the legal implications of the two terms and how they can impact your case, which is why our attorneys are ever willing to hold your back through the corridors of justice. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a qualified divorce attorney.