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What Is The Difference Between Divorce & Annulment?


Within the state of Florida, there are two ways to end a marriage: divorce and annulment. Both of these ways differ from each other and can only be used within certain circumstances.

 What Is A Divorce? 

A divorce is a formal dissolution of a marriage. Right after a divorce is granted, the marriage no longer exists and the two people who form the marriage are no longer legally united.

Many states within the United States recognize legal separation. But, Florida is not one of these states and, as such, a couple can only end their marriage through divorce or annulment. 

What Is An Annulment?

 An annulment is a legal process that voids and nullifies a marriage. Unlike divorce, an annulment declares the entire marriage, from its very beginning, as illegitimate and nonexistent.

A couple who is granted an annulment will no longer be married. But, even more than that, the marriage will be treated as if it never existed.

 Getting A Divorce In Florida 

Many states require a couple to present  grounds for divorce. Without any grounds for divorce, a couple is unable to dissolve their marriage.

But, Florida is a no-fault state, which means things are a little different. As a result of being a no-fault state, a married couple can, at any point in time, say “Our marriage is irretrievably broken.” By doing so, the court will grant them a divorce and end their marriage.

Outside of claiming that the marriage is irretrievably broken, a couple can receive a divorce if one party is mentally incapacitated and has been for no less than three-years.

Even though reasonable grounds are unnecessary for a divorce to be granted, adultery and abuse can, and will, affect post-marriage alimony and child support arrangements.

 Getting An Annulment In Florida 

To get an annulment in Florida, a couple must prove, to the court, that there are grounds for the marriage to be annulled.

A number of different grounds for annulment exist. Some of the most common grounds for annulment include:

  • The marriage was created during a period of temporary insanity.
  • The marriage was created under duress.
  • The marriage was/is fraudulent.

Assuming any one of these situations is present, the marriage can be annulled.

Outside of those grounds, a marriage can be annulled if:

  • One spouse is under the legal marital age.
  • Both parties are related to one another.
  • One, or both, parties are currently married to someone else.

Right after a marriage is annulled, it will be treated as if it never existed. Since this is the case, there will be no division of property and alimony will not be rewarded.

 Speak With A Skilled Tampa Divorce Lawyer 

Divorce and annulment are two ways of ending a marriage. Both options are valid only in specific circumstances and they each come with their own unique consequences.

Speak with a skilled Tampa divorce lawyer today. We will assist you in obtaining a divorce or annulment, depending on which legal option is appropriate.






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