When a marriage dissolves, there are two ways that it can legally be terminated: annulment and divorce.
While annulments and divorce both end a marriage, they differ quite a bit from each other. Today, we are taking a more in-depth look and comparing and contrasting the two.
Learn more about the similarities and differences between annulments and divorce below.
Annulment vs. Divorce
The biggest difference you will find between annulment and divorce is that divorce terminates a legally valid marriage and annulments legally and officially proclaim a marriage to have been invalid. Most couples seeking to end their marriage can meet the legal requirements and grounds for divorce, but not an annulment.
What is an Annulment?
An annulment is a legal ruling that cancels a marriage. Legally speaking, an annulled marriage is virtually erased, as it technically was never valid or existed. Once annulled, you were never legally married. It is important to note that, though the marriage is null and void, the marriage records will remain on file and that an annulment was granted.
Grounds for Annulment in Utah
Like divorce, you will need to have a reason (ground) to be granted an annulment in Utah. Here are the grounds for annulment in Utah:
- FRAUD — One party lied about or kept something hidden that directly affects the marriage. In cases where fraud is present, it needs to be extreme enough where the other spouse, had they known about the fraud, would not have gone through with the marriage.
- IMPOTENCE — One party is unable to consummate the marriage.
- UNDERAGE — One or both spouses are under the legal marriage age. In Utah, the legal age for marriage is 18. However, it is 16 with parental consent or 15 with parental consent andpermission from the court. If proper consent was given at the time of marriage, an annulment is not an option. The parent or guardian of the underage individual can file on their behalf.
- MISREPRESENTATION — One party lied about certain things that are harmful to the other party.
- INCEST — The couple is related, such as siblings, first cousins, etc.
- BIGAMY — One or both parties is already married, including if that party’s divorce decree is not finalized yet.
What is a Divorce?
A divorce is a legal dissolution, termination, and end of a valid marriage. A finalized divorce declares both parties to be single again and gives them the ability to remarry.
Grounds for Divorce in Utah
There are countless reasons for divorce, but the court must find it to be an adequate reason. You can learn more about the grounds for divorce in Utah here for fault and no-fault divorces.
Contact The Ault Firm P.C.
If your marriage has come to an end, it is important to seek the guidance and expertise of a knowledgeable Salt Lake City family law attorney who can help you further distinguish between annulment and divorce. The professionals at The Ault Firm have decades of experience and are dedicated to serving your best interests. If you live in Salt Lake County, Utah, our skilled attorneys are here to help you navigate this complicated process and are committed to providing comprehensive legal representation. Call The Ault Firm to schedule your case review today.