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Is There a Difference Between Divorce and Annulment?

Both divorce and annulment end the legal contract between you and the other person involved, but they are very different legal tools. The annulment of a marriage is much less common than is divorce, but both play important roles in relation to the dissolution of a marriage.(Learn more about the grounds for divorce in Texas) Better understanding the distinctions between the two can help you better understand your legal options moving forward. And if you think you need either – a divorce or an annulment – it is time to consult with an experienced Lampasas County divorce attorney.

Divorce

Divorce refers to the legal dissolution of what was a valid marriage. Your divorce can be no fault or can be predicated on any of the following fault-based grounds (although you must be able to prove to the judge’s satisfaction that the claim of fault is true):

In the course of your divorce, you and your divorcing spouse will be required to hammer out mutually acceptable terms regarding all of the following that applies:

If you are unable to find common ground, the court will be required to intervene on your behalf.

Alimony

Alimony is a different legal beast entirely. The premise behind alimony is that the marriage in question – which did in fact happen – was never valid to begin with. As such, the annulment nullifies and voids the marriage entirely. If your marriage is annulled, the result will be as if you were never married in the first place. The grounds for annulling a marriage in the State of Texas include all of the following:

  • At least one of you was too intoxicated at the time of your marriage to provide meaningful consent.

  • At least one of you was underage at the time of your marriage.

  • At least one of you lacked the mental capacity to consent to your marriage.

  • One of you was induced to marry through either duress, fraud, or force – if, for example, you were tricked into the marriage.

  • You and the other party are related to one another.

  • At least one of you failed to disclose that you had been granted a divorce in the 30 days prior to this marriage.

  • Your marriage took place less than 72 hours after your marriage license was issued.

  • At least one of you is impotent and failed to discuss the matter with the other prior to your marriage.

Even if your marriage was not legally valid to begin with, the court can still order child support and hand down child custody arrangements upon your annulment. The fact that your marriage was never valid does not diminish either party’s responsibility to your shared children.

If you need to modify your Alimony, read this article on how to do so. (How to Modify Alimony in Texas)

Call an Experienced Lampasas County Divorce Attorney Today

Whether you need a divorce or an annulment – or are not sure which – Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Lampasas County, Texas, is an accomplished divorce attorney who can help. To learn more, please do not wait to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 today. (more words of wisdom from an experienced divorce attorney)

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