What is the Difference between an Annulment and a Divorce

What is the Difference between an Annulment and a Divorce

What is the Difference between an Annulment and a Divorce

What is the Difference between an Annulment and a Divorce

In the state of Arizona, there are two different ways to completely dissolve a marriage.  Although there are various ways to go through a separation, an annulment or a divorce are the only ways to completely end the marriage.  Many couples who are considering this may wonder what the difference is between a divorce and an annulment.  These are two very different things that involve different processes and have varying end results.

Definitions of Annulment vs. Divorce:

A divorce is one of the most common ways to end a marriage.  This will legally put an end to a marriage and break the contract that is a marriage.  The couple can then go their separate ways, so long as they follow the new terms of the divorce and fulfill all of their responsibilities.

With an annulment, the marriage is still over and done with, but an annulment makes it so that the marriage never existed—at least, not legally. There are several different criteria that must be met in a relationship before the state of Arizona will approve either a divorce or an annulment, though there are stricter guidelines for an annulment than a divorce.

Requirements for Both Annulments and Divorces:

The state of Arizona is a state that allows for a no-fault divorce, meaning that only one spouse has to want the marriage, and no one must be deemed “at-fault”.  No fault must be proven and only the court has to pass judgment on the relationship—it must be deemed “irretrievably broken” before a divorce can be approved.  Secondly, Arizona recognizes covenant marriages which can be more difficult to divorce.  These are marriages which legally agree to not get a divorce, and there are many more restrictions to meet before the state will allow a covenant marriage to end.  Some examples that will be deemed appropriate reasons to seek a divorce are abuse (emotional, physical, or sexual), neglect or abandonment, or adultery.

An annulment can only go through if the court considers a relationship either void or voidable.  A void marriage, in the eyes of the state, never took place—these include marriages between relatives or of the same sex.  In order for a marriage to be voidable, it must meet other criteria such as a spouse being consistently intoxicated, having no marriage license, bigamy or adultery, as well as fraud.  There are other specifications that can be met, and these are just a few, but the court must judge a relationship as void or voidable before an annulment can take place.

The Breakdown:

While both an annulment and a divorce do end in typically same results and legally end a marriage, there are many differences between the two.  An annulment more thoroughly erases a marriage and legally states that the marriage never took place.  A divorce acknowledges that the couple was legally married but is no longer together, and allows the couple to move on as well.  The process for each will take approximately the same amount of time and can each be just as complicated, though an annulment requires much more specific criteria to be approved.

While both an annulment and a divorce do end in typically same results and legally end a marriage, there are many differences between the two.  An annulment more thoroughly erases a marriage and legally states that the marriage never took place.  A divorce acknowledges that the couple was legally married but is no longer together, and allows the couple to move on as well.  The process for each will take approximately the same amount of time and can each be just as complicated, though an annulment requires much more specific criteria to be approved.

While both an annulment and a divorce do end in typically same results and legally end a marriage, there are many differences between the two.  An annulment more thoroughly erases a marriage and legally states that the marriage never took place.  A divorce acknowledges that the couple was legally married but is no longer together, and allows the couple to move on as well.  The process for each will take approximately the same amount of time and can each be just as complicated, though an annulment requires much more specific criteria to be approved.