What is the difference between marriage annulment and a divorce? Many people confuse the two terms for one that is exactly what it is: A legal process that occurs when a marriage cannot be fixed anymore, by reason of some flaws in the marriage contract. A civil divorce takes place when you are separating legally from your partner, but you still love him or her. In some cases a marriage may end up getting filed under “common-law” grounds, which means that whatever marriage contract you have will not stand in the eyes of the law, regardless of what your religious beliefs say.
People may get married in ignorance. They do so because they either did not know about marriage annulment, do not want to learn more, or simply fear that being married would somehow lead to divorce, or some other bad end. They therefore end up getting married without understanding all the implications involved. They therefore end up facing a mountain of legal and financial problems, due to their ignorance and inattention.
The biggest misconception about getting married through annulment is that it guarantees an easy divorce. In fact, annulments cannot dissolve marriages legally, they only restructure them. Such marriages may be legally dissolved through other processes, such as divorce. There are even cases where the marriage may never have been legally terminated. This is especially the case if there are no children involved, or if there are no witnesses to the marriage.
In the cases where divorce was not an option, or were annulments sought, people believe that getting a marriage annulment prevents future troubles. It is true that you will not have to go through the trouble of filing for divorce, as a result of an annulment. You will not be left with a criminal record, a huge debt, and not knowing who your partner is. This is the most common misconception that people have about getting an annulment. However, a divorce is not always an option, especially if you have children together.
What makes a marriage void? There are two common grounds that led to voidable marriage proceedings. One is when one of the partners was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Drugs and alcohol are very powerful substances, and they can affect a person’s judgment. The other basis for a voidable marriage is when both spouses were not of sound mind or responsible enough to make an informed decision.
In civil divorces in New York, there are four basic grounds. These are: adultery, cruelty, fraud, and desertion. In the case of an annulment, only one of the spouses can be proven to be guilty of the charges. If all four grounds were present, then the marriage would be declared null and void. This means that a New York civil divorce proceeding cannot go forward.