What Areas of a Marriage Does Annulment Affect?

Couple sitting on either side of a wall

There are two options when legally terminating a marriage — annulment and divorce. The primary distinction between them is that unlike divorce, annulment invalidates the existence of your marriage in the first place.

Annulment is granted for voidable marriages. The grounds for a voidable marriage include concealment, fraud, incest, lack of consent and bigamy. Regardless of the duration of your marriage, an annulment is not easy.

Without a good family lawyer in Kent, the process of annulling your marriage in the court can be a real hassle and some aspects might not be handled in your favor. Here are some of the aspects that will be affected by your annulment.

Child Custody and Support

Your children’s welfare is essential no matter the outcome of your marriage’s termination. The court will issue an order regarding the children’s custody and support.

Proof of parentage is a requirement before awarding of custody in some jurisdictions. This is, in most cases, required for children born before your marriage or less than ten months after the annulment.

Spousal Support

Most courts do not consider alimony in annulment since there was no legally recognized marriage. The non-custodial parent is only required to part with child support. Some courts might give one party alimony, but this is, in most cases, a paltry amount compared with what is usually awarded in a divorce.

Property Distribution

Annulment generally reverts you and your ex to your premarital property status. Should one of you die, the surviving spouse has no succession rights.

Any property you have accumulated during the marriage can be divided based on your respective contributions. Some states, however, do not allow this distribution and the property’s title passes according to the general property ownership law of the state.

Most people who practice religions that do not allow divorce opt for annulment. The exact effects of an annulment differ from one state to another. This route, however, gives you far less bargaining power compared with divorce.