What's the Difference Between Divorce and Annulment?

How is an Annulment Different?

In the state of Florida, a marriage can be ended either by a divorce or an annulment. An annulment differs from a divorce in that an annulment is a decree that a legal marriage never existed. While most times it is preferable to seek a divorce rather than an annulment, there are certain times and certain situations when an annulment may be appropriate.

In Florida it is more difficult to obtain an annulment rather than a divorce due to the necessary court proceedings and burdens of proof. The court procedure and end-effect of a divorce is quite different from an annulment. A divorce declares that a marriage existed, has come to an end, and may have provisions for support, property division, child custody, alimony, and child. An annulment is based on a claim that the marriage, because of some type of compelling circumstance, was illegitimate or never real. Annulments are much more complex and more involved than divorce. Should you want to pursue this option, you will need an attorney from In Law We Trust, P.A. who focuses on representing men in annulments.

What are Some of the Grounds for an Annulment?

To annul your marriage, you will need to meet certain specific criteria recognized by Florida courts which include the following:

  • If you and your spouse never lived together as husband and wife or consummated your marriage

  • If either party was underage when the marriage took place. Florida law forbids marriage by any party under the age of 18 without court approval or consent from the minor’s parent or guardian

  • Fraud, concealment, or duress may be grounds for annulment, which includes entering the marriage under false pretenses or being forced into the marriage under threat or coercion

  • Mental incapacity of either party only if discovered after marriage

  • Physical disability affecting sexual life

  • A marriage that took place while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • If you married someone who was already married this automatically voids a marriage. It is considered bigamy which is a crime in the State of Florida. Discuss this situation with your attorney before filing to determine the risk involved for either party

What About Religious Annulments?

A religious annulment does not affect the legal status of your marriage in Florida. You must still go through the required steps to obtain a divorce or file for an annulment. There are several other unique circumstances that may qualify for an annulment which may include religious affiliations, but in the end those situations would fall under one of the grounds as listed above.

How to Go About Obtaining an Annulment

You will need to file a petition for annulment with your local county court providing background information regarding your marriage, the reason you are requesting an annulment, a statement as to any children arising from the marriage, and a statement as to marital assets. If your marriage has resulted in children or significant shared assets, the court may require that you seek a divorce instead. After filing a petition for annulment, you will need to complete a dissolution/annulment report with the Florida Department of Health.

The Best Counsel for Annulment

Annulment in is a highly complex way to end and void a marriage. Every marriage is unique and if you feel strongly that your situation is best handled by an annulment, you should not be discouraged from exploring this option. The attorneys of In Law We Trust, P.A. will work with you to decide if an annulment makes sense and is possible under Florida law. We will help clear up the misconceptions surrounding annulment and if your situation fits, we will work toward your goal and best interests.

Call The Family Law Experts Men Trust (813) 415-3510

In Law We Trust, P.A. is a premier firm of divorce lawyers representing men in family law proceedings. We are uniquely positioned to assist our clients with the challenges men face in Florida’s court system. Call us today and get the proper representation men need and deserve.



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