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Annulment is not the same as divorce

One question couples in New York face when they are thinking about ending their marriage is whether to get an annulment or to actually get divorced. Choosing one or the other is relatively simple, involving placing a checkmark beside either one on a petition. However, the two legal processes of annulment and divorce are quite different.

Annulments can be granted if married couples who want to split up can provide legitimate reasons why their marriages were never truly valid in the first place. One possible reason is fraud that resulted in the marriage. Other reasons include insanity as well as bigamy, and where one spouse was under 18 when the marriage occurred. Yet another valid reason is that marriage took place by force. Proving any of these caveats requires going to trial in court.

Some people choose annulments in an effort to honor their religious beliefs. After all, some religions look down on getting remarried after going through divorce. For other couples, annulments are ideal because they are essentially arguing that they were never really married, which means no marital property needs to be divided. Likewise, spousal support is not an issue.

A divorce is different from an annulment in that the focus is on splitting marital assets between two spouses who have chosen to split up. This process can be challenging if the two spouses cannot find common ground regarding how property division should be handled. An attorney in New York can provide guidance so that one's financial interests are protected during even the most complicated of marital split-ups.

Source: womenshealthmag.com, "What's The Difference Between A Divorce And An Annulment?", Macaela Mackenzie, Sept. 7, 2017

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