The terms divorce and annulment tend to often be used interchangeably. However, there is a distinct difference between the two legal procedures. While both are designed for the purposes of dissolving a legal union, the way this is done is different for both.
The divorce process in effect ends a marriage, citing the two parties involved as newly single. While there is considerable stigma around the idea, it has become a more and more common and accepted path to take.
Grounds for Divorce
If one needs to file for divorce, a request can be made on the grounds of addiction such as alcoholism and gambling, domestic abuse, desertion, incompatibility, criminal involvement and activities, adultery, and irreconcilable differences.
In some regions in the United States, there is the option of a no-fault divorce, wherein a married pair may file for divorce without citing a specific reason.
The annulment process serves to make a marriage void, which is to make it as if it never existed in the first place. As the term annulment would suggest, this procedure makes the marriage contract null.
This method tends to be preferred by people who are against divorce, whether for religious reasons or due to the issues that may arise from the social stigma attached to it.
Grounds for Annulment
In order to qualify for an annulment, the parties in question must be able to show the invalidity of the union, thus making the marriage eligible to be voided.
Some of the reasons for getting an annulment can include the fact that one of the two was still legally married to another individual at the time of the marriage, one of the spouses was forced into the contract, either of the two was not of legal marriageable age at the time of the union, the marriage was not consummated, or one of the two parties was not in a mentally competent state.
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