What is the Difference Between Annulment and Divorce? - DuPage County Divorce Attorney | Bloomingdale Family Law Lawyers
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Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

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What is the Difference Between Annulment and Divorce?

Posted on in Family Law
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If your marriage is on the rocks and you and your spouse feel you have no choice but to separate, there is another route you may have the option to take instead of divorce: annulment.  Divorce, by law, dissolves, terminates, or ends a legally valid marriage.  Annulment, on the other hand, “erases a marriage by declaring the marriage null and void and that the union was never legally valid.”  Although annulment technically erases your marriage, it is true that the marriage record will remain on file.

A simple way to understand the divorce vs. annulment topic is to think of divorce as ending a marriage, making both parties involved single again, while an annulment ends the marriage because the parties agree the marriage should not have happened or was never legal.

Definition of DivorceThere are various reasons to turn to annulment rather than divorce, which include:

  • You and your spouse are close blood relatives
  • Either spouse was illegally married to another person when the marriage occurred
  • Either spouse was not legally old enough to marry at the time of the marriage
  • Either spouse was forced into the marriage

There are many other reasons for annulment, some of which can get very technical and messy.  Many people turn to annulment due to religious reasons or the social stigma that comes with the term “divorce.”  However, many people agree that divorce does not carry the same stigma it once did.

According to Lawyers.com, “The main benefit of annulment is the law treats the marriage as if it never existed.  It’s over, and there are no further issues to deal with.  Divorce, on the other hand, may mean involvement with your ex-spouse for years to come on issues such as support, property division, and raising children…Annulment isn’t for everyone.  Only a small percentage of those who are married can even qualify for one.”

If you and your spouse are contemplating an annulment or divorce, be sure to contact an experienced family law attorney to walk you through the process and help you figure out which route will work best for you.

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