Depending upon specific details about a marriage, married couples may have a few options when it comes to getting it dissolved. Along with the divorce option, separation and annulment are also possible choices. Check out the definitions and aspects of these options for ending a marriage.
An annulment treats the marriage as if it never happened. Grounds for an annulment include incest, bigotry, forced or fraudulent marriage, or one or both spouses were under the influence of a mind-altering substance during the marriage proceedings. Similar to a divorce, a judge may divide marital assets and debts that were acquired during the marriage term. Having children between spouses usually doesn’t qualify for an annulment.
A legal separation is a judicially recognized separation between spouses where each spouse lives at a separate location, however they are still considered to be married. Separation often helps spouses to reevaluate the relationship and the option of permanent separation through divorce. Since separation requirements are determined by state, it is helpful to consult with a divorce lawyer to gain clarity on the stipulations in your state.
Under natural conditions, only the death of a spouse will end a marriage. More commonly, divorce is a popular option. Divorce is a legal declaration that ends a marriage before one of the spouses dies. Upon filing for divorce, a spouse may choose a no-fault divorce or a fault-based one. During the divorce proceedings, several aspects of the divorce settlement are decided including division of assets, child custody, and alimony.
Depending upon your situation, any of the above choices could work for you. To learn more about the process of divorce, legal separation, and annulment, and to gain clarity on the best marriage dissolution option for you, contact a divorce attorney or marriage resolution consultant.