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Annulment vs. Divorce: The Things You Need to Know

Divorce decree with a penWhen it comes to ending a marriage, you can choose between an annulment and a divorce. Keep in mind, however, that there are major differences between these two. An annulment declares the invalidity of the marriage, while divorce legally ends a valid marital relationship. Annulment treats the marriage as it never happened or existed.

Getting Invalidity

As annulment considers the marriage to be null and void, there are certain legal grounds. It is not just enough to prove that the marriage is not working or broken. Here are some grounds for requesting marriage invalidity:

  • The spouse hid an important fact about themselves like a sexually transmitted disease, criminal convictions, and substance abuse/addiction problems.
  • One or both parties were forced or coerced by someone else to get married.
  • One party lack the ability to consummate and the spouse didn’t know it about the time of marriage.
  • The marriage is prohibited like both parties were related by blood or other spouse was married to someone else.
  • One or both spouses were under the influence of alcohol or drugs and are not capable to make an informed consent.

In some states like Colorado, it is sometimes harder to get a declaration of invalidity than divorce. Consulting a reliable family law attorney is important.

Legal Dissolution

Divorce refers to the legal action of dissolving a marriage. The Burnham Law Firm, P.C. and other Boulder divorce lawyers note that in no-fault divorce states like Colorado, there is no need to prove that one party is at fault to get a divorce or prove that the marriage is irreversibly broken. This is a choice if you can no longer work together and there is no chance of reconciliation.

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You and your spouse can agree on divorce issues like property division, alimony, and custody arrangements. If both of you cannot come up with an agreement, however, the judge will settle all the issues at hand. There are many ways to get a divorce that doesn’t involve going to court if both parties are willing to work together, which can speed up the process.

It is best to consult a family attorney when you have finally decided to end your marriage. The right legal representation can help you choose the right path and guide you throughout the process.