What Is The Difference Between An Annulment and A Divorce
An annulment is a court order that is issued which states your marriage did not exist or was not valid. It’s different from a divorce because a divorce legally ends a valid marriage that existed previously. Whereas in an annulment – the marriage ends immediately.
If you are considering obtaining a marriage annulment in Alberta, you must know that it’s best to discuss this with a family lawyer that practices in Alberta. Annulments are not always issued and can only be done in certain circumstances. For example:
- If your spouse was already married to another person when they entered marriage with you
- You married your spouse under duress or if someone threatened you physically
- You were intoxicated by either drugs or alcohol during your marriage ceremony
- You perceived you were marrying someone when in fact they were someone else
- If the person you marry is unable to consummate the marriage
- If you were under the age of 18 when you got married and did not have your parent’s consent
- In some cases a church or an authoritative religious body might grant an annulment which is different from a legal annulment
- You and your spouse are too closely related
- The essential formalities required to certify a marriage were not present during your marriage ceremony such as two witnesses
Legal Responsibilities Regarding Annulments
If you decide to pursue a marriage annulment – this does not mean that the individuals will not be regarded as spouses or parents under Alberta provincial laws. Both spouses can bring forth claims against one another on matters such as the division of property and assets, spousal support, child support or custody and guardianship matters. When the courts grant an annulment, they may also issue financial, distribution of property and custody Orders for both children and the other spouse. However, we strongly recommend you speak with an Edmonton divorce lawyer prior to making a decision as to whether you are better suited to end your marriage through an annulment or through a regular divorce.
Religious Annulments versus Legal Annulments
There are also differences on foreign annulments and religious annulments. For example, religious annulments do not legally unbind the marriage and are only valid within the religion itself. In Alberta and most other Canadian provinces – only a judge can legally declare an annulment between the spouses therefore you still need to go through legal channels to process your annulment, so it is considered valid within your legal jurisdiction.
We Can Help You With Your Annulment in Alberta
If you are still unsure of whether to pursue an annulment of marriage versus a divorce – we recommend you contact an Alberta based family lawyer who can help you with your family law proceedings. There are many advantages and disadvantages to both obtaining an annulment versus obtaining a divorce. Contact our law firm today and speak with an experienced divorce lawyer regarding your possible options and which avenue might be best suited to your unique and individual circumstance.
At Verhaeghe Law Office – our Edmonton family lawyers have helped numerous clients with their divorce proceedings and family law matters for many years. We take pride in the fact that we aim to resolve your family law disputes in a timely and cost-effective matter. Contact us for a consultation today by calling 587-410-2500 and speak directly with an Edmonton divorce lawyer regarding your family law matter.
*Please note the content in this blog does not constitute legal advice as every case is unique from one another. We encourage you to seek legal advice for answers to your divorce and family law questions.