When you decide to end your marriage, you may think you have only one choice: divorce. Divorce is the option that most couples choose.
But there is another option: annulment. An annulment allows you to end your marriage, much like a divorce. However, there are different requirements involved. Read on to learn more about annulment and divorce and how they differ.
Can I Get a Divorce?
Most people who end their marriages opt for a divorce. It is easier than an annulment, and there are no restrictions. Anyone can get a divorce provided that they meet their state’s requirements. For example, in Colorado, the couple needs to be a resident of the state for at least 91 days before they can file for divorce. This can vary from state to state.
Also, Colorado is a no-fault divorce state, which means you do not have to blame one party for the dissolution of the marriage. Divorce makes it so both parties revert to being single. They can then get remarried to someone else. A divorce also resolves all the issues, such as property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. A legal separation, on the other hand, makes it so the parties live apart but they are still legally married.
Divorces can take a long time, depending on whether or not they are contested. A divorce can take two months, two years, or any amount of time in between.
Can I Get an Annulment?
Unlike a divorce, an annulment is a procedure that makes a marriage null and void, as if it never happened in the first place. As such, there are often fewer concerns, such as division of property, to worry about, allowing the marriage dissolution to occur quickly.
However, annulments can occur only under certain circumstances, such as:
- The marriage is based on fraud.
- One spouse lied about their ability to have children.
- One spouse was already married to someone (bigamy).
- At least one person was underage and unable to give consent.
- One person was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a mental disorder.
- The couple never consummated the marriage.
- The spouses are close relatives.
There typically is no statute of limitations for annulments since the marriage is technically void. However, most annulments occur within the first year or two of marriage.
Judges will try to make each person whole so that they are restored to the same status they were in before they were married. Sometimes children will be born into annulled marriages, but they are still considered legitimate.
Contact Us Today
An annulment and a divorce are not the same things. While both end a marriage, there are stricter guidelines involved in an annulment.
Need help ending your marriage? The team at Tanis McGonegal Family Law, P.C. can help. We offer the guidance you need to end your marriage in a way that does as little damage as possible to your family. To schedule a consultation with our Colorado divorce lawyers, call (303) 465-4605 or fill out the online form.