Difference Between an Annulment & a Dissolution

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When a marriage is ending, there are often hurt feelings and confusion. Depending whether the process is an annulment or dissolution, the differences can evoke a varying degree of emotions. An annulment simply nullifies a union, while a divorce dissolves it.


Often an annulment and dissolution of a marriage are confused and considered to be the same thing. While both procedures terminate a marriage, there are significant differences. There are specific reasons for each process.


Dissolution of marriage or domestic partnership is also known as a divorce. A divorce is a proceeding that ends a legal marriage. Dissolution of a marriage is granted because of irreconcilable differences between partners.


An annulment action voids a marriage and renders it a marriage that never existed. Grounds for annulment includes fraud, force, mental illness and other impairments surrounding the ceremony.


With annulment or dissolution, when children are involved support, visitation and care must be determined. This cause is heard and decided in a court of law. Division of property or alimony is generally not considered with an annulment.


According to experts at My Family Law, either proceeding can be presented to a court without legal representation. However, depending upon the complexity of the situation, seeking legal advice is advisable.