When a couple decides to split up, divorce is usually the first topic of discussion. However, there may be grounds for an annulment, which is typically a much easier and calmer process than divorce. Some couples aren’t aware of the distinct differences between these two things, which can sometimes lead to an unnecessary divorce process. However, that doesn’t mean that an annulment can be achieved in every case.

Here are the differences between annulment and divorce, and how each can dissolve a marriage.

Annulment

Annulment is a way to legally void a marriage that is determined illegal. If the marriage was not done properly, or was not fully validated, it can be voided via an annulment, and it will be as if the marriage never happened in the first place.

The steps for getting an annulment are quite simple:

  • One spouse will file a formal annulment petition with the court.
  • The other spouse must sign it.
  • The marriage will be deemed legal until the petition is filed, when it will be officially annulled.

Eligibility for Annulment

Not every marriage can be annulled; some have to go through the divorce process. The grounds for annulment are strict, but often include:

  • Bigamy
  • Incest
  • Not of sound mind (intoxication during marriage)
  • Underage spouse
  • Use of force
  • Fraud

Divorce

Divorce must be filed when the marriage does not meet the requirements for an annulment. There is also a time limit for filing an annulment, which is typically a few years. However, a divorce does not have a time limit, and can be filed at any time.

Divorce includes a variety of legal issues such as child custody, alimony, and spousal support payments. Working closely with a divorce lawyer can help to sort out the issues and documentation you may need when filing for divorce.

Divorce is known for having a lengthy process, with a lot of paperwork and hearings before the judge. However, if you and your soon-to-be ex can come to mutual agreements and fair negotiations, the process can go a lot more smoothly. In fact, there are many cases where a divorce is started and finalized in just a few months, because the couple can split amicably.

Contact DuPage County Divorce Lawyers to Start the Process

Whether your marriage is grounds for an annulment, or you are looking to file for divorce, the DuPage County divorce lawyers of Keller Legal Services can get you started on your case. Contact us today for a free consultation, which is the first step to getting your life back into your own hands.

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