What’s the Difference Between an Annulment and Divorce?

Man taking off ring after annulment

Annulment legally declares a marriage void from the beginning or voidable because of a defect discovered during the marriage, whereas divorce ends a marriage that no one disputes was always a valid union. Annulment can have serious social and financial repercussions that differ from divorce.

If you have questions about divorce or annulling your Florida marriage, arrange a consultation with The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker. A divorce lawyer in Stuart, FL, can help you weigh the important distinctions between annulment and divorce, and plan the optimal course of action for you.

Do I Have Grounds to Seek an Annulment in Florida?

Grounds for the court to declare a marriage void include:

  • Incest
  • Duress
  • Bigamy
  • Underage spouse
  • Lack of mental capacity
  • Lack of serious intent (married as a joke)

Grounds for the court to declare a marriage voidable include:

  • Fraud
  • Impotency
  • Concealment of disease or infertility

What Can Complicate Getting an Annulment in Florida?

A marriage is voidable when an essential marital issue that was hidden comes to light after the couple marries. Such grounds for annulment are more persuasive if claimed soon after the marriage begins. When fraud is an issue, if you “ratify the marriage” (continue having sex with your spouse) after learning of it, that could negatively impact how the court evaluates your claim.

Your spouse will have notice of the annulment case and the right to oppose it, and may elect to seek a divorce, adding to the legal complexity.

Annulments and divorces are heard in different courts. Questions relating to child custody will be heard by the Family Court.

divorce vs annulment in florida

Does Annulment Have Different Results Than Divorce?

After a divorce, children remain legitimate. In an annulment, if the court deems the marriage void, the children of the marriage no longer are legitimate because, legally the marriage never took place.

Annulment can negatively impact your spousal rights to property and inheritance. Unlike a divorce, the court will not divide the couple’s assets in an annulment; the spouses must do it themselves.

The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker provides aggressive, solid, compassionate representation and advocacy. In our confidential consultation with you, our legal team will listen carefully to your personal story, evaluate potential solutions with you, and advise on the best legal strategy for your personal situation.

We will explain your legal options, provide an overview of the process, and help you gain an understanding of next steps. Our team is available for consultation by phone, Zoom, and in-person in our Stuart, Florida office.

Your Three Steps to Moving Forward

1 icon - orange colorCall our office or complete our contact form and set up an intake call with our Intake Coordinator.

2 icon - orange colorAttend a virtual or in-office consultation so we can better understand your case and determine how we can help guide you to success.

3 icon - orange colorRetain our firm so we may lead you through the legal process as quickly and painlessly as possible.