What is Annulment?

A lot of people are familiar with the terms “divorce” and “annulment,” but may be unaware what the nuts-and-bolts differences are between the two. In many ways, they are similar and related terms, but the differences between the two are what make them legally distinct. Understanding these differences is important to knowing how to file for the end of your marriage.

Annulment vs. Divorce

An annulment, like a divorce, is a legal procedure for ending a marriage. However, an annulment is a retroactive legal procedure, meaning that once an annulment is granted, the marriage legally never existed. A divorce, on the other hand, merely terminates the marriage. The terms of divorce reflect the legality of the marriage. It is important to keep in mind, though, that any children produced form an annulled marriage are considered legitimate.

Annulments apply only to marriages that are legal and therefore voidable. That is, a marriage cannot be annulled if it is already voided by law. For example, if the marriage were actually illegal, the marriage could not be annulled. For these marriages, a legal declaration of nullity must be obtained to dissolve the marriage.

Reasons for Annulment

Common reasons people file for annulment include:

  • Discovering that you are related to the person by blood
  • Mental health issues not disclosed prior to the marriage
  • Deception has been employed by one spouse to obtain consent
  • Adultery or other forms of marital deception

Contact Us

If you or someone you love is seeking an annulment, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, by calling 760-722-7646.

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San Diego Family Law Blog

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