Ending Your Marriage: Divorce vs. Annulment

Are you currently considering the option of ending your marriage? If so, you are not alone. In America today, nearly 50% of marriages will come to an end at some point, largely due to financial matters, disagreements, growing apart or just falling out of love. As humans we are ever changing, and for some couples, these changes tend to be away from one another. Whatever the case may be, leaving your spouse may be the best for your current situation. However, what many people may not realize is that there are different options for terminating your marriage; divorce being the most common, there is also the option of having an annulment. Annulling your marriage essentially mean that you are declaring your union to be null and void, or, as though it never happened.

In most cases, a couple who wishes to end their marriage will likely have to get a legal divorce as opposed to an annulment, because there are certain qualifications that must be met in order for you to be approved for the process. Within the realms of an annulment, there are two different types, one being a civil annulment which is done through your state court, or a religious annulment which is primarily done within the Roman Catholic Church. What then constitutes your marriage as being worthy of an annulment? One of the ways that the courts will allow for this is if you learn that your marriage was based on some form of fraud. For example, perhaps your spouse lied about their body being able to have children, or perhaps your spouse was actually under the legal age for marriage and they lied about being an adult. Also, if you learn that your husband or wife is already married to another person, the court will likely allow for your union to be considered void.

In the event that you learn your spouse was concealing an important fact about their history from you such as having a prior felony conviction or that they are struggling with addiction problems to either drugs or alcohol, you may be approved for annulment. Within this category is also included concealing a sexually transmitted disease or having children from another relationship that you failed to discuss prior to your wedding. Another possible cause for the annulment of your marriage will be one of the spouses choice to not allow the marriage to be consummation, and because that is what makes the marriage complete, if one is unwilling to do so you may apply for an annulment. Lastly, if you and your spouse misunderstood one another with something important such as having children, the judge may approve your case as well. It is important to realize, however, that this process must be done soon after the wedding. The longer you are married, the less likely of a chance the court will grant your wish to end your marriage and call it null and void.

A religious annulment is much different than a civil one, because it is merely through the church and not a legal process. In most cases, the Roman Catholic Church will actually require that you obtain a civil divorce with your state court before you are eligible to receive the annulment of your marriage in the eyes of the church. They want to make sure that your marriage is officially terminated before they grant you the annulment. However, if one plans to ever marry within the church, and they have had a prior marital relationship, they are actually required to obtain his annulment by the church before remarrying.

Contact a trusted Mission Viejo divorce attorney at the Hunter Law Group today to further discuss the options that are best for you!