When the cracks in a marriage are irreparable, there are two options open for spouses to end the marriage. To that effect, you can either file for annulment or divorce. In Florida it is easier to get a divorce than an annulment though a good attorney can change that.
When a court declares a marriage invalid thereby dissolving and erasing the marriage, that is annulment. For a divorce, the court agrees that there was a legal marriage but declares it terminated.
Here are some of the differences between annulment and divorce –
- Divorce is the legal termination of a hitherto valid marriage between spouses. The marriage was recognized by law but over time, the spouses decided to call it quits of their own volition. On the other hand, annulment is the termination of a marriage based on the fact that the marriage has always been void in the eyes of the law. That is to say that the marriage was a sham right from the beginning and therefore illegal.
- The court erases/discards the records of the marriage in annulment while the all records are preserved in divorce.
- In divorce, there is provision for support, alimony, child support and so on unlike alimony where those provisions are not made. The couples may decide to distribute their resources as they deem fit. Sometimes however, some Florida courts may assist with issues involving minor children and even property division.
- Even though both cases must be granted by the courts, the grounds for dissolution differ.
- There are Florida laws governing divorce unlike annulment where there are limited annulment statutes – mostly laws established from court proceedings.
Both parties are allowed to remarry after divorce or annulment.
Grounds for Annulment
There are specific grounds for annulment in Florida, which include:
- Underage spouse: If either party is underage as at the time of the marriage, such a marriage can be adjudged illegal and can be annulled with proof. Florida law prohibits marriage with any party below 18 years without the consent of the minor’s parents or ward.
- Bigamy: Either spouse is still married to another person during the second marriage.
- Fraud: If the aggrieved party can prove that the marriage was entered into on fraudulent grounds such as lies and misrepresentation, it can be annulled.
- Incestuous marriages, mental illness, inability to consummate marriage, marriage under the influence, physical disability including impotency/barrenness are also grounds for annulment.
If both parties, for some reason or the other, jointly agreed to the marriage, it may complicate issues. But if one party commits fraud against the other party, then it is easier to be granted an annulment.
Grounds for Divorce
Reasons for divorce can include –
- Mutual consent based on incompatibility or irreconcilable differences
- Sexual harassment
- Domestic violence
Filing for annulment or divorce can be an uphill battle due to the numerous legal complexities and obstacles one needs to surmount in the process. Steven Winig, Esq. is an experienced West Palm Beach family attorney, he can make the process be less stressful knowing that it will be completed correctly. You can move on to the next chapter in your life with peace of mind.