Annulment vs. Divorce: What’s the Difference?

Annulment vs. Divorce: What’s the Difference?There are two ways to end a marriage in the state of New Jersey: annulment and divorce. If you are planning on calling it quits, it’s important to understand the differences between these two legal options. Here’s an overview of annulment vs. divorce:

Annulling A Marriage vs. Filing For Divorce

Divorce is an option for people who want the state to legally recognize that the marriage is over. However, annulment is an option for people who want to reverse the marriage and act as if it never happened in the first place. Many people prefer annulment because it does not carry the same stigma that divorce does. Most religions are also more willing to accept an annulment than a marriage, which is another reason why some people prefer this option.

Eligibility For Annulment

Couples cannot annul their marriage simply because they want to avoid filing for divorce. The law states that couples can only get an annulment for one of these reasons:

  • Bigamy
  • Fraud
  • Incest
  • Impotence
  • One or both parties were incapable of giving their consent at the time of the marriage.
  • The couple was married under duress, meaning someone making serious threats forced them to get married.
  • One spouse was under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage.

If a couple does not meet one of these conditions, they cannot get an annulment. But, divorce is still an option if the couple would like to end their marriage.

Important Points to Consider

There are several important points that couples should keep in mind when deciding which option is right for them. First, annulment voids the marriage instead of simply ending it. This means each party can lose their rights to marital property if the marriage is annulled. It’s also important to point out that getting an annulment does not help couples avoid child custody and alimony disputes. The judge granting the annulment has the authority to make child custody and alimony decisions during the proceedings.

Anyone who wants an annulment must be prepared to show proof that their marriage meets one of the seven conditions mentioned above. For example, a spouse that is asking for an annulment on the grounds of fraud must show the court proof that he was lied to or misled prior to the marriage. But, there’s no need to present this type of evidence in a no-fault divorce case.

Are you ready to end your marriage? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC at once. Our team of family law attorneys can explain your legal options and help you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation.

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