Which is Faster: Annulment or Divorce?
To annul or to divorce – that is the question. What’s the difference between the two, and which process is faster?
Annulment vs. Divorce
The short answer is: divorce is faster.
While both processes exist to terminate an existing marriage, divorce ends a marriage at the date of the judgment, where annulment legally declares the marriage itself null and void. Essentially, a divorce is considered a legal dissolution of a valid marriage, which returns both partners to single status with the ability to remarry; an annulment, on the other hand, declares that the marriage itself was never valid in the first place, and returns bother partners to a single status under the grounds that the union never legally existed.
Grounds to Annul
Generally speaking, an annulment is a more costly and time-consuming procedure than an uncontested divorce. In order to annul a marriage, the couple in question must submit paperwork to the courts that establishes one or more of the following grounds to annul:
1) That one or both spouses were already married without the knowledge of the other at the time of their marriage to each other.
2) That one or both spouses did not understand that the ceremony he/she was participating in was a marriage.
3) That one or both spouses lacked the mental capacity to enter into a marriage.
4) That one or both spouses were too intoxicated to give proper consent at the time of marriage.
5) That the marriage was entered into fraudulently, or under duress.
6) That one or both spouses were underage at the time of marriage, and did not have parental consent or court approval.
7) That one or both spouses are unable to consummate the marriage due to a physical or mental issue that was unknown at the time of marriage.
Likelihood of Success
Short marriages are more likely to be successfully annulled than long-term ones. While an annulment may free you from some of the financial obligations that come with a divorce, it is important to remember that certain spousal and/or child support laws (as well as other property laws) may still apply. Such an annulment process usually costs more time and money than a conventional uncontested divorce, where both parties are able to settle out of court.
Still on the Fence?
It is strongly advised to seek the advice of a professional family law counsel before initiating a divorce or annulment process.
Fine & Associates Professional Corporation is a well-respected Toronto Law Firm that prides itself on providing quality personal service and favourable outcomes in Family Law and Divorce Law.
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