What is the Difference Between Divorce and Annulment

Divorce and annulment are terms used to describe the same legal ending of a marriage. Though nominally similar, divorce and annulment serve different purposes. While a divorce legally ends the marriage, an annulment completely nullifies the marriage, making it as if it never existed. Divorce and annulment are two very different processes with very different implications.

Divorce, a more common and widely accepted method, involves the legal termination of a marriage, typically on grounds of irreconcilable differences or breakdown of the relationship. In the United States, for instance, divorce laws vary by state, but many jurisdictions have adopted no-fault divorce, wherein couples can dissolve their marriage without assigning blame to either party. Similarly, in the United Kingdom, the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 facilitates divorce on grounds like adultery or unreasonable behavior, emphasizing a no-fault approach. After filing for divorce, each partner may look into hiring a Great Yarmouth Divorce Lawyer (if that’s where they reside) to get the process over with in a way that is as fast and smooth as possible.

On the other hand, annulment, less common than divorce, is a legal declaration that a marriage was never valid or legally existed. This typically involves proving that the marriage was void or voidable from its inception. Grounds for annulment can include fraud, bigamy, lack of consent, or inability to consummate the marriage. While both divorce and annulment serve as legal mechanisms to end marriages, annulment is distinct in its focus on the marriage’s invalidity rather than its termination. Western countries generally provide legal frameworks for both divorce and annulment, offering individuals options based on the circumstances surrounding their marriages.


When you file for divorce, you petition the court to end the marriage. But what if the marriage was never valid, to begin with? What’s the difference between an annulment and a divorce? An annulment is a decision that is rendered by a court, whereas a divorce is a decision that is made by the spouses. Either spouse may file for divorce. An annulment is a court order, so both spouses must agree to the annulment. That said, either spouse may file for annulment with the help of Family Law Phoenix Attorneys or similar lawyers who deal with such cases. The reason for filing has to be specified and should be valid.

So, in a marriage where one or both spouses knowingly deceived the other party or committed fraud, or where one or both spouses were underage at the time of the marriage, a court might grant an annulment. In some cases, the annulment can be given if the marriage never existed, but one or both of the parties continued to treat it as if it did or if one spouse married another person after the first marriage dissolution. Once an annulment is granted, the marriage is legally treated as if it never happened.

Pros of getting an annulment

  • No Division of Property. A marriage annulment is a legal process by which a marriage is terminated and the marriage’s effects, such as property division, are undone. These reasons include fraud, bigamy, other marriage, or circumstances that prevented the couple from getting married.
  • Invalidate A Prenup. An annulment is different from a divorce and even from a legal separation. In an annulment, even if the couple has signed a prenup before marriage, afterward it is considered invalid and no one needs to provide for their spouse.


According to the United States Census Bureau, 40.4 million Americans were married in 2017. While that number was down from the high of 48.5 million in 2000, the number is still quite high. For many, marriage is a lifelong commitment, and divorce can be devastating. But, when a marriage breaks down, there are legal procedures that must be taken. And, one-way divorces are handled legally is by filing for divorce. The process can be a complicated one, but with the help of an attorney, you can successfully navigate the legal system to end your marriage. Make sure you find out the consultation process with a trusted lawyer (for which websites like this one – https://serphomeliving.com/legal/profile/jb-martin-law/divorce – should be helpful) and schedule an initial meeting to ensure that all the details are aired out. Divorce is an emotional and difficult process. Understand that a divorce doesn’t mean your life is over, but you still have to deal with splitting up’s emotional, financial, and legal aspects. Divorce is a legal dissolution of marriage in which the marriage has been irretrievably broken. It is also known as legal separation. Spouses who wish to divorce must typically seek some legal remedy. Divorce proceedings involve filing for divorce with the court and serving the divorcing parties with notice of the divorce petition.

Pros of getting a divorce

  • You Can Reconnect with Your Kids. Studies show that between 40 and 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce, and it can take years emotionally and financially to recover from the breakdown of a relationship. The effects may also percolate down to the kids if a parent is abusive. Such cases need competent Divorce Lawyers to help the responsible parent win custody. While this separation is a far-fetch from the ideal family image, it could be the best-case scenario for the child. Besides, it could enable you, as a parent, to reconnect with your children through shared experiences.
  • You Can Enjoy Newfound Freedom. Divorce can be a difficult decision. Often when people start the divorce process, they don’t realize what it’s going to take to get divorced. One benefit that people do not think about when they make the decision to divorce is freedom. You are not answerable to anyone if you both don’t have kids. You can live your life away from all the stress that marriage may have caused you. It can also become your self-healing journey.

One thing that should be clear is that divorce and annulment are two different types of endings to a marriage. While there are similarities, such as legal recognition and the ability to re-marry, there are also important differences you should be aware of when going through a divorce or contemplating filing for an annulment.