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Annulment or Divorce: Which Do I Need?

Most people who get married plan on staying with their spouse for the rest of their life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out. When a marriage comes to an end, many find themselves unsure of what happens next. 

Do they have to file for a separation? Is a divorce the only option? What is an annulment? 

If your marriage is ending, here is what you should know about separation, annulment, and divorce. 

Separation vs. Legal Separation 

Before a marriage is legally ended, there’s typically a period of separation. Separation can be as simple as you and your spouse living apart from each other. This doesn’t need court approval or official papers. You can choose to do it at any time. 

It is worth mentioning that your actions during a separation can factor into how your divorce plays out, and so, it’s best to consult an attorney immediately. 

Beyond standard separation, there is legal separation, which is issued by a judge. A legal separation is not a divorce, which means you cannot remarry. Additionally, last names remain unchanged. However, legal separation does consider subjects such as custody, visitations, alimony, debts, assets, etc. 

Most people who choose legal separation do so on the basis of religious or moral stances against divorce. Legal separation should not be seen as a step towards divorce as much as an alternative to it. 

Can I Get an Annulment? 

Unlike a legal separation, an annulment is an alternative to divorce that legally ends a marriage. Technically speaking, it erases the marriage by declaring it void. This requires that one of one of the spouses must believe the marriage should have never happened, and only did because certain factors remained unknown.  

For example, if a spouse is unable to consummate the marriage and/or is found to be impotent, their partner can file for an annulment. 

Other reasons for an annulment include fraud, mental illness, bigamy, forced consent, and more. If you’ve discovered something about your spouse that would have kept you from marrying them, you may be able to file for an annulment. 

Divorce 

If you wish to end your marriage, and you don’t qualify for an annulment, you have the ability to divorce your spouse. Whether you have specific reasons for divorce, or you’ve simply decided your marriage isn’t working, you can seek divorce in Ohio. 

The sooner you meet with an attorney, the better. They can advise you on all of your options and make sure you don’t make any mistakes leading up to your divorce. For an attorney that’s experienced in family law in Springfield, Ohio, contact the offices of Michael T. Edwards today. 

41 E. Main St., Enon,
Springfield, OH 45323

937-864-2645