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Know the Differences between Annulment and Divorce


Marriage can end through two ways: divorce and annulment. Though both of these options have the same result, each has different requirements.

There are many similarities and differences between a divorce and an annulment, so many people confuse them and aren’t aware of their options. This blog will describe divorce and annulments and help you understand the differences.

Definitions of Divorce and Annulment

The best way to understand the difference between these two ways to leave a marriage is that a divorce ends a legally recognized marriage while an annulment declares the marriage to be invalid.

  • Divorce - The legal end of a valid marriage. By the end, the united couple goes back to being single individuals.
  • Annulment - Annulments rule that the marriage was never legally possible and thus invalid. Though there will remain a record of the marriage having taken place, the couple legally erases the marriage.

Reasons for a Divorce or an Annulment


A couple may choose to end their legal for a variety of reasons. Legally ending a marriage can range from an amicable separating to a vigorously contested end. Some cases may require more evidence than others.

There are two types of divorces:

  • Fault Divorce - In this case, one spouse must prove the other is “guilty” of some offense against their marriage. Common fault divorce reasons include abuse, adultery, or addiction.
  • No-Fault Divorce - In this type of divorce, the couple ends respectfully with neither side recognized as the “guilty” party. No-fault divorce makes the negotiations smoother. No-fault divorce has become more popular recently. Some areas require a separation period before allowing a no-fault divorce to proceed.


People seek an annulment when at least one person believes the union should never have taken place. If the marriage would not have been legal, then one party can dissolve the union.

There are grounds for an annulment if:

  • At least one person was tricked into the marriage
  • At least one person could not legally consent due to mental instability, drugs, or alcohol
  • At least one person was already married (known as bigamy)
  • At least one person was not legally old enough to marry
  • At least one person is incurably sexually impotent
  • At least one person lied, misrepresented, or hid the truth about past crimes, unwillingness to have children,
  • The marriage was between siblings or first cousins (known as incest)

Legal Options

Both divorce and annulment proceedings can be expensive due to the length of negotiations. But ending your marriage does not need to be costly, especially if both parties can agree on many issues.

Aldrich Legal Services has experience guiding clients through the end of their marriage. If you want to explore how best to end your marriage, gain the help of a savvy family law attorney at Aldrich Legal Services. Contact us today at (734) 404-3000.

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