The Difference Between Annulment and Dissolution

The Difference Between Annulment and Dissolution

A marriage can legally end in one of two ways in Florida: annulment or dissolution. While the outcome is the same, the requirements and implications of each are very different. Below we’ll discuss the two and which one may be a better option for you and your family.

Divorce is the dissolution of a valid marriage. Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither spouse is required to prove certain grounds in order for a divorce to be granted. All they need to show is that the marriage is irretrievably broken or there are irreconcilable differences.

On the other hand, an annulment is only an option if the ability of one spouse to enter a valid marriage comes into question. They are rare and are usually only granted when one of the following elements is present:

  • Mental incapacity
  • Extreme intoxication
  • Lack of consummation
  • Incest
  • Existing marriage to another person
  • Underage spouse
  • Fraud
  • Duress

While only spouses are able to initiate divorce, a third party is allowed to question the validity of a divorce, causing an annulment to occur. Another major difference is that divorce is governed by law, and there are established produces that dictate the process and outcome. For an annulment, there is a lack of statutory guidance, which leaves the judge with the decision to either proceed or deny. Finally, whether you decide on divorce or an annulment, equitable distribution and alimony may be impacted differently.

Annulments in Florida are usually much more complex and expensive than divorces. Either way, if you’re considering separating from your spouse, contact our Jacksonville family lawyers at Owenby Law, P.A. today! We assist clients with a wide range of family law matters, including child custody, alimony, paternity, and adoption.

If you’re ready to discuss your case, call (904) 770-3141 or contact us online.


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