The Difference Between a Divorce and an Annulment

What is the difference between a divorce and an annulment of a marriage?  Divorce is based on a defect that provides “grounds” for divorce that emerges during the marriage.  The most basic ground for divorce is “insupportability.”   Insupportability is Texas’ version of “no-fault” divorce; it simply means the bonds of marriage have been broken to the point that there is no reasonable chance of reconciliation.  Other grounds for divorce include “adultery” and “cruelty,”  for example.

An annulment is based on a defect that existed prior to the marriage that makes the marriage voidable.  One example is marriage of a person under 18 years old without parental consent.  A second example is if one spouse was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics and didn’t have the legal capacity to consent to the marriage.  A third example is if one spouse fraudulently induced the other spouse into marriage.  A key point with the second and third examples, is that once the defect is discovered, the spouse seeking annulment must not have voluntarily cohabited with the other spouse.

Speak with a qualified family law attorney if you have questions about divorce or annulment.

Author Jim Cramp is a retired active duty colonel and the founder and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm, BLOC.  The firm provides a spectrum of family law-related services to clients in the greater San Antonio region, across the United States and throughout the world.  The firm specializes in Federal Civil Service and Military Divorce matters.