What is the difference between an annulment and a divorce?


While spouses conclude that they should separate for one reason or another, they have two choices. The first is annulment and the second is divorce. These two options have legal similarities and differences. This article will provide an explanation regarding these forms of separation.

Main differences between annulment and divorce

While the divorce process ends the marriage, the annulment essentially erases the fact that the marriage took place. It may sound quite complicated, but it is possible to summarize these procedures to a few statements:

  • Divorce is a legal dissolution of marriage which changes the legal status of both spouses to celibates;
  • The annulment declares that the marriage is void and that it never existed in the first place from a legal point of view.

With the basic definitions covered, it is now possible to delve deeper into the subject and separately explain the differences between annulment and divorce.


It’s a pretty interesting procedure, but it’s not as common as its counterpart. An annulment ends the marriage if at least one of the spouses feels that it should never even exist. It can also be applied to a marriage that has never been legal. While it might seem quite confusing, a list of legal grounds for cancellation clarifies everything:

  • At least one partner was already married at the time of the marriage;
  • At least one partner was not of legal age to marry;
  • At least one partner was forced to marry;
  • At least one partner has been trapped in the marriage;
  • Incest;
  • At least one partner was unable to make an informed decision about marriage due to mental disability or alcohol / drug poisoning.

Before the annulment, the court asks the applicant to provide proof of at least one of the grounds for separation previously described. And now it is possible to see why cases of cancellation are so rare – the requirements of this procedure are quite specific.


This is the most common type of separation. Divorce proceedings can be separated into two categories: disputed and undisputed. As the first type suggests, an applicant must provide a solid reason for filing for divorce. The reasons can include domestic violence, abuse and adultery. Additionally, this type of divorce is applicable when both parties have issues regarding the division of property, child custody and potentially spousal support.

Regarding the second case, neither party is required to provide a specific ground for divorce – the grounds for an uncontested divorce are based on “irreconcilable differences. “While this type of divorce is preferable because it is quick and can be inexpensive, spouses can still have differences regarding the terms. This is why spouses can seek the services of a mediator.

Premises and legal solutions

Both types of separation can be simple or complicated – it all depends on the individual circumstances of each case.

If the annulment is approved, the marriage is considered never to have existed. In the event of divorce, the parties may have legal obligations to each other even after the process is completed.

With divorce being a more common method of separation, most people who are considering a divorce are looking for a quick and affordable solution that does not require the services of a lawyer. This is why DIY divorce is becoming popular among people who want to separate.

If both spouses agree on an uncontested divorce, that is, they settle their differences without the court, they can make all the documents themselves and present them to the court.

This is why online divorce preparation services are so prevalent these days. If all issues are adequately resolved, a spouse can begin the divorce process through the Internet. This method is often used by couples who want to reduce the cost of divorce and make everything fast.

For a low price, the online divorce company can provide an online divorce application. The automated service automatically selects and fills out the appropriate forms for the petitioner based on the details of their case.

Online divorce is also effective for cancellations, as spouses can resolve property rights and child custody issues on their own.

Final thoughts

As can be seen, there are considerable differences between annulment and divorce. Although the two options result in the dissolution of the marriage, the legal consequences are different. Understanding the requirements of both procedures and what they mean for each partner is imperative in order to avoid unnecessary drama and stress.

An annulment means that the marriage was never legal – this type of separation has specific requirements, which makes such cases rare among those who practice law.

Divorce is the most common practice, and partners can get through it the hard way or the easy way. Those who can agree on critical issues can experience the latter option and often simplify the process by preparing for divorce online.


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