What’s the Difference Between a Divorce and an Annulment?

Every day, hundreds of Americans file for divorce. But not all marriages end this way. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to seek another legal form of legal separation, called an annulment. Read on to learn more if you are considering dissolving your marriage, and contact the skilled Clearwater divorce attorneys at Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. for all your family law needs.

Divorces v. Annulments

Divorce is an often complicated legal process, potentially involving matters such as alimony, custody and visitation rights, and child support payments. While all divorce cases are different, reaching a settlement in a divorce tends to only become more involved depending on how long the marriage in question lasted. Modifications can also affect a divorce settlement, even long after one was reached, while prenuptial agreements may determine how assets are divided before official proceedings even begin.

Annulments are just the opposite, in terms of how many additional legal concerns are typically involved. An annulment basically states that a marriage never happened, rendering the entire union null and void. Many find the benefits of an annulment appealing, given that the entire process is usually less involved, and can often be settled much quicker.

In the state of Florida, there are limited legal precedents under which you may secure an annulment. The law is extremely ambiguous regarding what does and does not constitute grounds for an annulment, and to determine if your case qualifies, you will want to consult with a qualified attorney to craft an argument as to why your marriage meets the requirements.

Conditions under which you may apply for an annulment include:

  1. Either spouse was mentally incapacitated or impaired during the duration of the marriage
  2. Either spouse committed fraud through misrepresenting themselves in order to secure consent for the marriage
  3. Parental consent was not given (in cases where it was required, such as in marriages where one or both parties were underage)
  4. Both parties are related by blood
  5. Either spouse is bound by an existing marriage

Many assume that annulments are much less expensive than divorces, as most cases don’t require division of assets or support agreements. However, this is not necessarily the case. Even if you are legally able to secure an annulment, an intelligent attorney may still suggest you pursue a divorce, in order to protect your financial well-being. In either case, your lawyer should be able to advise you on which option is going to be less stressful and more beneficial in the long-run.

Contact Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. Today

At Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A., our compassionate and diligent legal counsel only want what’s best for you. Ending a marriage is almost always difficult, regardless of the circumstances, but we believe our job is to make it a little easier. With experience in areas ranging from paternity to restraining orders, our team has the experience and knowledge to take on your case, and fight for you along every step of the way. Call today, and hire a family lawyer to help protect what’s yours.

Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. is available by phone at (727) 245-9009, or you can contact us online to schedule a consultation.