Annulment vs. Divorce: What’s the Difference?

Today, it can be argued that there’s little difference between a divorce and an annulment given our current “no fault” divorce laws. Afterward you are no longer married in either case. Still, some people favor an annulment over a divorce for religious or other moral reasons.

Technically, however, an annulment is based on a legal impediment that existed prior to marriage that makes the marriage “voidable.” Examples of grounds for annulment from the Texas Family Code include underage; under the influence of drugs or alcohol; or, permanent impotency of which the complaining spouse had no prior knowledge.

A divorce is based on post-marital events that cause the marriage to be no longer viable. Examples from the Family Code include an irreparable breakdown of the marriage (“insupportability”); cruelty; adultery; imprisonment for more than a year; or abandonment for more than a year.

The discussion above is not an exhaustive review of all the factors bearing on an annulment or divorce. Consult a qualified attorney before taking legal action.

Author Jim Cramp is the founder and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm.  The Cramp Law Firm provides a spectrum of family-related legal services in the greater San Antonio Region.