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What is the Difference Between Annulment and Divorce?

by | Oct 27, 2021 | Uncategorized |

When you are thinking about ending your marriage, you are probably wondering about your options. If you have done any initial research, you may have come across information about both annulment and divorce, and you may have heard conflicting information from friends and family members and the processes for annulment and divorce. It is critical to understand that, while annulment and divorce are both ways for legally ending a marriage in Michigan, they are not two options from which you can choose. Rather, there are quite limited circumstances in which a person can seek an annulment instead of a divorce. Otherwise, divorce is the route you will need to take for ending your marriage under Michigan law. Our Michigan divorce lawyers can provide you with some of the information you need below. 

General Difference Between Annulment and Divorce

Generally speaking, annulment is a way to legally end a marriage that was never valid in the first place, while divorce is a way to legally end a valid marriage. In other words, if you were lawfully married and there are no questions about the validity of the marriage, you are unlikely to be eligible for an annulment. Instead, you will need to file for divorce. 

Grounds for an Annulment in Michigan

What are the grounds for annulment in Michigan? In most cases, you will only be able to have a marriage annulled if one of the following is true:

  • One or both of the parties entered into the marriage by force;
  • One or both of the parties entered into the marriage by fraud (referring to situations in which one of the spouses lied materially, resulting in fraud);
  • One (or both) of the spouses was already married at the time of the marriage;
  • One or both of the parties lacked capacity to enter into the marriage;
  • The spouses are related to one another; or
  • One or both of the parties was under the age of 16 at the time of the marriage and permission was not granted by the court.

Requirements for a Divorce in Michigan

Unlike annulment, there are no grounds for divorce in Michigan. Neither party is required to prove fault of any kind, and in fact, fault is never a factor in a court’s decision to grant a divorce. Instead, under Michigan law, the party filing the petition must plead that there has been a breakdown of the marriage, and that there is no chance that they can put it back together again. 

Contact Our Michigan Divorce Lawyers Today

If you need assistance legally ending your marriage and you are unsure about your options, one of our experienced Michigan divorce lawyers can speak with you today about annulment and divorce. In most cases, an annulment will not be possible since this option is only permitted in limited circumstances. However, we can evaluate your case to determine whether you can seek an annulment and, if not, we can talk with you about uncontested divorce and dissolving your marriage as quickly as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today for more information.