In some situations, you might be able to get your marriage annulled instead of getting divorced. An annulment means that you completely erase the fact that you got married at all. It is a way of saying that the marriage was never really valid. A marriage can be annulled (judged to be null and void) as if it never existed when the cause alleged constitutes an impediment rendering the marriage void.
Examples of grounds to annul a marriage are:
*The marriage was never consummated.
*One or both parties are not of legal age to marry.
*One or both parties lack the legal capacity to marry.
*The marriage was occasioned by either fraud, duress, or misrepresentation.
*One party has not divorced a previous spouse.
Annulments are far less frequent that dissolutions. The annulment process can be started by either spouse, but they must have proof of grounds. The person seeking the annulment must be able to prove that the marriage was not valid from the start. There are specific things that you must prove in order to get an annulment. If your case fits the circumstances for an annulment, I can help you navigate through the intricacies of your case.
A legal separation is similar to a divorce in that it deals with the same issues:
*Equitable Division of Joint and Community Property
*Equitable Allocation of Joint and Community Debts
*Attorney’s Fees and Costs
A legal separation differs from a divorce in that a legal separation does not end the marriage. If you have a legal separation you are not able to remarry. You remain married until you obtain a decree of dissolution of marriage.
However, a legal separation ends the marital community. No further community property is acquired, and any property acquired is the separate property of the person who acquires it. Also, no further community debts are incurred, and any debts incurred are the separate debts of the party who incurred them.
Some people want a legal separation because they want the protections or benefits such as child custody, child support and/or spousal maintenance, or stopping the other spouse from incurring community debts while still leaving the door open to reconciliation in the future.
If the other spouse objects to a legal separation and requests a dissolution of marriage, the court will enter an order dissolving the marriage.
If you have a legal separation, you can obtain a divorce in the future.