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There are numerous factors prompting couples to consider annulment over divorce, including religious or cultural beliefs, short marriage durations, or the perception of annulment as a simpler, more cost-effective solution.

However, it is crucial to recognize that annulment is not always straightforward. The criteria for obtaining one are strict and can pose challenges, rendering it unsuitable for many couples.

Why are divorce and annulment distinct processes?

In essence, divorce terminates a marriage legally, while annulment declares a marriage either never legally valid or invalid for specific reasons, effectively erasing it from legal existence.

What are the legal grounds for divorces and annulments?

The criteria for divorce and annulment differ:

Divorce: Couples in England and Wales only need to declare irretrievable breakdown without evidence, but they must be married for over a year before applying.

Annulment: Annulments can be categorized into void marriages (not legally valid) and voidable marriages (meeting specific grounds such as lack of consummation or valid consent).

How do the processes for divorce and annulment differ?

The processes for divorce and annulment are as follows:

Divorce: Couples file an online statement of irretrievable breakdown. The court issues the application to the respondent, who has 14 days to respond. After the Conditional Order, a Final Order finalizes the divorce. Financial arrangements are separate.

Annulment: Couples submit an annulment application to the court, along with supporting documents. The other party has 14 days to respond. If no objections are raised, a Conditional Order is granted, followed by a Final Order declaring the marriage nonexistent.

How do annulments and divorces deal with children?

Both processes offer opportunities for parents to agree on child arrangements voluntarily or seek court orders if necessary, always prioritizing the child’s welfare. Our team offers detailed advice as required.

Is an annulment easier than a divorce?

Annulment is generally more challenging due to stricter grounds and fewer occurrences compared to divorce. Seeking advice from a specialist family law solicitor is crucial before considering either option. Our team is here to guide you through the process based on your unique circumstances.

At Haris Law Solicitors, our team of family law specialists provides comprehensive guidance on both divorce and annulment, assisting you in determining the most appropriate option for your circumstances. For a free consultation, please get in touch.


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