Annulment vs Divorce - Divorce Attorney Los Angeles | Burns Law

Annulment Versus Divorce

Depending on the Circumstances of Your Marriage, You May Save Money by Getting an Annulment

Ending a marriage is one of the most painful and difficult things that anyone can go through, whether or not it was their decision to end the relationship. It is especially hard if you feel compelled to end your marriage soon after you enter into it. If this is your situation, you may not need to go through the expense of a divorce. You may be able to get an annulment instead.

An annulment is a legal procedure that cancels a marriage. While it is a religious concept in origin, an annulment in current legal terms is a declaration that a marriage never technically existed and was never valid. To ensure that you go through the procedure properly and correctly, you should consult with attorneys that handle annulments in Los Angeles. They will inform you of what you must do to get your marriage annulled based on your particular situation.

The Two Types of Annulment

You can get a civil or religious annulment. The latter can be done by your church, but this will not terminate the legal marriage. To end your marital status, you must get a civil annulment. You can request the latter type of annulment through the courts.

The Difference Between Annulment and Divorce

The only real point of similarity between the two procedures is the outcome: no longer being married. Other than that, they are significantly different. It is much easier to get an annulment if you have not intertwined financial and other material parts of your life. If you have not purchased a house together, made investments together, or undertaken any other significant financial obligations, then you will be better positioned to annul the marriage.

In an annulment, a court concludes that your marriage was not valid. In a divorce, the court declares your marriage to be legal and then terminates it. The court will then need to decide on the division of assets and child custody and support. If you are seeking an annulment, you must prove that your spouse’s actions drove you to file. The legal erasure of your marriage cannot be done on a whim or because you had a change of heart. The law requires you to prove that your spouse’s actions make the marriage void. 

Grounds for an Annulment

If you suspect that you do have grounds for an annulment, you should discuss your situation further with a Los Angeles family law attorney. It will save you time and expense if you know what counts as proof of wrongdoing. Here are some of the most common reasons for annulment:

  1. Your spouse is underage

    If your spouse was not of age when you married, then you can get the marriage annulled. If your spouse passed the age of consent soon after you married, it may be possible to waive the annulment claim. However, you must both be willing to do so.

  2. Your spouse is already married

    It is illegal to be married to two people at the same time. This is the law regardless of what may be claimed by certain religious communities. If your spouse was married to someone else at the time that you married them, you can seek an annulment.

  3. Mentally impaired at the time of the marriage

    Courts are willing to grant an annulment if you or your spouse were mentally impaired by a legal or illegal substance at the time of your marriage. If you or your spouse lacked the ability to consent to the marriage, you can get it annulled.

  4. Marriage remains unconsummated

    You can get an annulment if your spouse is physically unable to have sex and they kept this from you before you married them.

  5. Serious misrepresentation or fraud

    You can also seek an annulment if your spouse misrepresented significant facts about their life or condition before the marriage. If you find out that they cannot have children, you can seek an annulment. If you discover that they are ladened with significant financial debt, you can likewise request a cancellation of the marriage. However, you waive your right to annulment if you discover fraud, but continue to stay with them.

    You should also know that you waive your right to spousal support if you file for an annulment instead of a divorce.

Annulment and Child Support

If you have children with your spouse before your marriage or after your marriage, you can still pursue an annulment if you have grounds to, and this will not affect your child’s right to financial assistance. Child support arrangements are not affected by an annulment. Nor are parental rights. You will still need to sort through both of these issues if you seek to annul your marriage.

However, if you have built a life and a considerable estate with your spouse, it may be better to file for divorce rather than annulment. It is the only way to get spousal support and to receive your share of the marriage assets.

Before making such a decision, you should get the counsel of an annulment lawyer in Los Angeles. Most of the grounds of an annulment are embarrassing and hard to cope with. Your first instinct may be to invalidate the marriage as a way of making a moral or personal statement. Legal professionals can help you look at the larger picture, as annulling the marriage may deprive you of assets that are rightfully yours. You should not give it all up on a whim.

At Burns Attorneys, we will sit down with you and have you recount the circumstances that led to your desire to dissolve the marriage. Our legal team will then advise you on what you can hope to gain in a divorce settlement as opposed to an annulment. 

Contact us to set up a consultation. Our skilled team of attorneys have gotten our clients favoriable results in disputes like: 

Call| Text