When comparing a divorce and annulment, you will soon realize one thing to be true: The end result is the same. While this may be true, they are not one and the same in terms of the process the couple follows and the way it is perceived by the legal system.
With a divorce, two people are recognized as being married. With an annulment, however, the marriage is treated like it never happened.
While an annulment may sound like the right answer, don't overlook the fact that you need to have a good reason for moving forward. These can include things such as:
-- Fraud. There are many types of fraud, such as one spouse lying to another about being married.
-- Concealment. This is when one person hides a major fact from the other, including things such as a felony conviction, substance abuse issue or sexually transmitted disease.
-- Misunderstanding. While not always the case, this is typically based around a misunderstanding on the desire to have children.
-- Lack of consent. Both spouses must voluntarily enter into the marriage and have the mental capacity to make this decision.
If you qualify for a civil annulment, it may be something you want to look into before filing for divorce. If you find that this is not an option, the only way to end your marriage is the divorce process. It may not be what you want, but you can end up in almost the same place when everything is done.
Not everybody qualifies for a civil annulment, but you won't know if you do until you learn more.
Source: FindLaw, "How Marriage Annulments Differ from Divorces and the Grounds for Obtaining a Marriage Annulment," accessed Nov. 10, 2015