A Guide to Annulment vs. Divorce in Florida

If you are legally married, but have realized that the marriage is at its end, you are likely looking at a divorce. In Florida, however, there are some situations where you can seek an annulment rather than a divorce. This will have some advantages, and is typically preferred to a divorce, if you meet the requirements. Read on to learn more about the differences between divorce and annulment, and which one is right for you.

Divorce Defined

A divorce is a legal process that effectively ends a marriage. Divorces are the most common way (other than death) that a marriage can end, and are vastly more popular than an annulment. Unless your marriage meets the requirements for an annulment, the divorce process is what you will need to go through. There are many options for a divorce including litigation, mediation, and more, but regardless of the method you choose, it is still a divorce.

Annulment Defined

Rather than ending a marriage like a divorce, an annulment makes it so that the marriage was never valid. It is an undoing of the marriage, instead of the dissolution of it. This can take place when, at the time of the marriage itself, there was some sort of issue or impediment that made it impossible for the two parties to legally marry. Some common examples of this include:

  • Being Already Married – If one of the parties was still legally married to someone else at the time they remarried, they cannot get married again. This can sometimes slip through the cracks, in which case the new marriage could be annulled.
  • Relatives – If the two parties cannot legally marry because they are related by blood. First cousins, for example, can’t get married in Florida.
  • Age Issues – If one of the parties was underage and did not get consent from their parents, an annulment may be possible.
  • Incapacitated – If one or both parties were incapacitated to the point where they can’t make this type of legal decision. For example, if they were very intoxicated.
  • Other – There are other factors that can permit an annulment too. Talking to an attorney is the best way to determine if your situation qualifies.

Which Option is Right for You?

There is no one size fits all answer to the question of whether a divorce or an annulment is right in your situation. If you qualify for an annulment, you will still want to talk to an attorney to see if it is the best course of action. In some cases, an annulment can actually be more costly and complicated than a divorce. To go over your situation, please contact McKINNON LEGAL today.