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Divorce, Separation, and Annulment: Differences and Choosing the Right Option for You

No one gets into a marriage thinking that it will someday end, but unfortunately, some marriages just don’t work well over the long-term, and partners need to go their separate ways. There are a few different legal avenues that you can pursue to give your marriage a break or call it quits for good, which is why it’s helpful to have a legal expert on your side to guide you through the process.

Understanding Divorce

A divorce is a final legal decision that causes a marriage to officially end. A fault-based divorce must involve certain grounds, such as adultery or domestic violence, while a no-fault divorce can be filed for irreconcilable differences or simply loss of affection over time.

Understanding Separation

Married partners can also put marriage on hold by filing for a legal separation with the court. Unlike divorce or annulment, separation is not the final ending of a marriage. This means that the partners are still not able to get remarried to another person because they are still technically married to each other in the eyes of the law.

Understanding Annulment

Unlike divorce or separation, an annulment is a legal action that declares a marriage to be invalid, null, and void. It’s as if the marriage never occurred in the first place because of a particular reason, such as being incestuous, forceful, or fraudulent. An annulment may also be appropriate if a spouse was not old enough to legally be married at the time of the marriage or if one of the spouses was already married and got married a second time.

A common question that we get at Alatsas Law Firm is “How long can you be married and still get an annulment?” People often mistakenly think that they qualify for an annulment just because the marriage was short-lived.

However, there are certain requirements that must be met to be granted an annulment, regardless of the length of the marriage. In New York, there is no general time limit on annulments. However, an annulment is only an option due to being physically incapable of consummating the marriage for five years.

Get Legal Help with Your Marriage

At Alatsas Law firm, we can help you pursue a divorce, separation, or annulment based on which of these three options is best for your specific situation. Some people choose legal separation over divorce for religious reasons, while others only have separation as an option because they have not lived in the state for long enough to file for divorce.

Divorces are often favored by couples who want to completely wash their hands of the marriage and be done, while legal separations leave more room for hope of reconciling in the future. Yet legal separations can also involve court decisions about child visitation, child support, and the division of assets. Annulments can be very difficult to qualify for and often are not legal options for New York couples. It’s important to have experienced legal counsel in annulment matters to ensure that grounds are met and proven with substantial evidence.

To learn more and for a free consultation, please start a live chat with us on our website, fill out our online contact form, or give us a call at 718-233-2903. We have worked with many Brooklyn individuals and couples to do what’s best for their relationships, and we look forward to helping you find closure, safety, and peace of mind for yours.