Ending a marriage can come in several different forms. There is a difference between divorce, separation and annulment. They all mean different things. Here are some of their differences.
Ending a Marriage: Divorce, Separation and Annulment
A divorce is when a couple goes through the process of legally ending a marriage before either spouse has passed away. There are many different reasons that a couple may choose to get a divorce. Each state may handle the divorce process differently. Once a divorce is finalized, the two people are no longer legally bound to each another. This opens up the ability for either or both people to remarry or enter into a domestic partnership.
When someone gets an annulment, it is a way of ending a marriage that states that the marriage is null and void. Annulments are not granted very often. An exception to this is when a court finds that a marriage is not valid. Reasons that could warrant an annulment are duress, fraud, bigamy, or incest. Another reason could be that one party was underage and lacked parental consent. Alternatively, they never lived together, or one spouse was not mentally able to make the decision.
Annulments are not the same as a divorce. If someone does not meet the requirements for an annulment, they will have to file for a divorce. With an annulment, the marriage never happened. On the other hand, a divorce ends a marriage that was legally valid. Just like with a divorce, the parties are legally single. Because of this, the parties are able to get remarry afterwards.
A separation is not actually a way of ending a marriage directly. A separation occurs when a married couple makes a legal decision to live separate lives. This happens while thinking about or getting ready for divorce. This is not the same as if a couple decides to informally live apart. A separation does not allow for either person to remarry. This is because they are still both legally married.
In some states, the date a couple separated will determine how long they have to wait to get a divorce. Sometimes, couples work through their issues during this period. This can lead to them to get back together. Other times, couples decide to go through with a divorce.
As you can see, divorce, annulment and separation are 3 very different things. With divorce and annulment, the parties become single. On the other hand, separation is just a time period before a possible divorce takes place.