While a divorce officially dissolves the legal bond between two people, an annulment declares the marriage the void, as if it had never occurred in the first place. Family law in most states allows for an annulment in under special circumstances, including cases of bigamy and fraud, but you do give up certain rights that divorce would otherwise protect. Before deciding to pursue an annulment, speak with an attorney who can help explain how it might impact the rest of your life.
How Annulment Impacts Your Marital Rights
Because an annulment declares a marriage completely void, you lose all of the rights that marriage usually bestows. For instance, because the marriage is invalid, you and your spouse will not have a claim to joint property, and you won’t have an automatic right to inherit any of their assets. You also won’t be eligible for spousal support or maintenance.
Annulment & Parental Rights
While those who received an annulment have no rights regarding one another, they do still have obligations towards their children. Parents, for instance, may still be ordered to pay child support and may still have visitation and custody rights. While there’s no formal decree in an annulment as there is in a divorce, you may still have to appear in family law court to resolve these issues if you and your spouse had children.
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