Annulment vs. Divorce: Understanding the Differences

Are divorce and annulment the same thing? Well they both are the end of a marriage, but they each have their own ways of ending things.


Divorce and annulment are both legal procedures designed to dissolve a marriage. However, a divorce ends a marriage and an annulment voids the original marriage contract, so it’s as if the marriage never occurred. If you’re weighing the idea of annulment vs. divorce, it’s important to understand the differences.

Why Get an Annulment?

There are many reasons for getting an annulment, but many people seek to have a marriage annulled because they don’t believe in divorce on religious grounds, or they do not want the stigma of having been divorced.

To receive an annulment, you must be able to demonstrate that the marriage was invalid from the start and, therefore, should be voided. Among the reasons for annulling a marriage:

  • You and your spouse are close blood relatives, or close relatives by marriage or adoption
  • Either spouse was impotent and the marriage was not consummated
  • Either spouse was still legally married to another person when the marriage occurred
  • Either spouse was not legally old enough to be married at the time the marriage occurred
  • Either spouse was forced into the marriage
  • Either spouse was not mentally competent when entering into the marriage contract
  • The marriage was fraudulent because either spouse failed to disclose details such as a criminal history, the presence of sexually transmitted diseases or impotence

Why Get a Divorce?

Many people will opt for a divorce because divorce no longer carries the social stigma that it once did. In contrast, an annulment can imply that one person did something wrong when agreeing to get married.


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Getting Divorced or Separated? 7 Financial Mistakes Not to Make

“Separation or divorce is a stressful and upsetting time. It can also have a big effect on your finances. Because you never know what can happen, it’s vital to protect your money and assets from the potential ravages of divorce. If you suspect that your divorce will be a knock-down, drag-out fight or if you’re certain that your divorce won’t go smoothly, prepare to take the following steps prior to the start of your divorce.”


Breaking up is always hard to do. But just because your life has been upended by a divorce or separation, it doesn’t mean your finances have to suffer, too.

That’s exactly what can happen, however, if you make any number of wrong moves when you’re unwinding a relationship.

Here are seven financial mistakes you must avoid once you decide to end a marriage:

1. Thinking that a mediator will protect your financial interests.

Many of us think that all divorces inevitably devolve into epic, drawn-out battles over money and property, complete with bitter screaming matches, chronic stress, and “I’ll get you!” style threats, kind of like The War of the Roses, the 1989 film that starred Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.

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