In some cases, if you’re thinking of ending your marriage, you may have the option to use an annulment. This is often used when someone wants out of the marriage almost instantly. Maybe new information came to light or they just realized they made a mistake.
When an annulment isn’t possible, a divorce can still often be used to end the marriage. This process just takes a lot longer to work through. So what are the differences between these two options?
“The marriage was never valid”
With an annulment, you can think of it almost as if the marriage never occurred in the first place. The court rules that it was not valid, in a legal sense, and it has been made null and void. This essentially erases it. Your marriage record will still exist, but you are no longer married and you don’t have to take any other steps.
“The marriage was valid and is now ending”
With a divorce, your marriage was valid to start with, so you have to take steps to break those bonds and dissolve the marriage. This termination can take longer because there are a lot of details to sort out, but it also gets you to the point where you can become single again or choose to marry someone else.
Most people use divorce
Annulments do happen, but they are fairly uncommon. The marriage would have to be invalid for some reason, and the people who end the marriage have to decide to take that step quite quickly. Most people turn to divorce, and it’s important for them to know about all the legal steps that they can take at this time.