Divorce Vs Annulment: What's the Difference?


There are a lot of couples all over the world who feel like their marriage is not working out as it was meant to. Because of this, as well as irreconcilable differences, spouses would often opt for two methods of dissolution: divorce or annulment. These are formally legal methods of separation, although there are distinct differences with regard to the outcome.

Annulment and divorce may seem similar, yet the former actually takes into account the consideration that there was not any marriage to begin with. It may have never been valid, thus being non-existent. Divorce, on the other hand, is legally ENDING the marriage. The former spouses are now eligible to remarry. Both partners in the marriage have complete freedom and choice to determine what proceedings are to take place. Aside from this, the person who initiated the entire process must provide proof that either divorce or annulment is validated. Each state and country has its own grounds for either option, although some requirements need to be met. Below are the differences in grounds for annulment & divorce.

For annulment

  • If there was a case of bigamy, specifically one of the spouses having already been married to another during his or her marriage to the current partner
  • Fraudulence of the marriage, meaning that one spouse agreed to marry the other due to gross misrepresentation
  • An inability to provide a child, thus rendering sexual relations as not being summate in the marriage
  • A case of mental illness wherein one half of the couple was not in the right frame of mind or was under great duress and emotional stress upon marriage
  • An influence of alcohol and illegal substances when both partners got married to each other
  • A marriage contracting of couples who were in fact related to each other biologically

For divorce

  • One of the spouses having engaged in extramarital affairs with another individual while still being with the married partner
  • A case of desertion, wherein the marriage results in physical and / or emotional resignation from either spouse
  • Irreconcilable differences between both partners that make it difficult for them to last through the entire relationship, so making things impossible to be worked out
  • Situations of emotional, mental and emotional abuse, specifically violent behavior and acts inflicted upon the other, as well as verbal berating and constant use of foul language

These are just the main differences in grounds for both of the legal separation methods.

Bernard Y