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What is the Difference Between Divorce & Annulment?

When it comes to ending a marriage, there are two possible choices: divorce and annulment. Most people are familiar with how divorce works, but annulment is much less clear. In this blog, we will clarify the differences so that you have a better picture of what your options are for ending a marriage in New Jersey.

In a divorce, a legally recognized marriage is dissolved before the death of either spouse. An annulment, on the other hand, is a legal decree that states that a marriage was never valid in the first place, thereby rendering it null and void. After an annulment, the existence of the marriage is not recognized in the eyes of the law.

In New Jersey, there are a number of reasons why a marriage could be declared invalid. These include:

  • The marriage was bigamous (i.e. a spouse was married to more than one person simultaneously)
  • The marriage was incestuous
  • The marriage took place when one or both spouses were underage
  • The marriage was the result of mental or physical incapacity (including a mental condition or intoxication), fraud or force
  • The marriage was entered into as a jest

While alimony and child custody and support are handled much the same as they would in a regular divorce, property distribution is handled slightly differently in an annulment. During a divorce, all property is distributed equitably (but not necessarily equally) between the spouses, but during an annulment, property is divided based on title. Each spouse retains their own property, and any joint property is divided equally.

Is an Annulment Right for You?

If you are considering ending your marriage in New Jersey, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC about which options are available to you. Divorce law can be complex, but you can trust in our attorneys to help you choose the option that most benefits your best interests. We have more than 50 years of combined experience handling even the most complex divorces and have successfully helped thousands of individuals throughout New Jersey and New York.

For more information on our firm’s divorce services, please contact us to request a free consultation. Call us today at (201) 419-6223.