Marriage Annulment or Divorce, Is there a Difference?

Marriage, Annulment or Divorce in Tennessee

The marriage didn’t work out, and now is time to end it.  In very short term marriages it is common for a person to ask if the marriage can be annulled or if it must be dissolved by divorce.  Is there a difference between an annulment and a divorce? This is an issue that requires the legal advice of a divorce attorney.  In basic terms a divorce is a dissolution of an otherwise valid marriage.  An annulment is typically a declaration that a marriage is void, and not valid, and never was valid.

End the marriage by divorce or annulment

What to do now?

Purely in legal terms in the State of Tennessee  a marriage is a contract between a man and a woman.  Although the contract is not typically a written contract it is nonetheless a contract that is enforced as a matter of law.  In order to be relieved of the obligations of a marriage contract and to be free to remarry one must seek a court order which will end the marriage.  This is a divorce.  The contract rights of both parties are considered by the Court.  Each party is then declared to be a single person and granted the right to remarry.

Review: The Process of Divorce in Tennessee

Annulment Declares the Marriage Void From the Beginning

An annulment assumes that the marriage “contract”  is either void from the beginning or voidable.  In other words there is some compelling reason that the marriage contract was never properly entered into by one or both parties. Annulments in Tennessee are not very common.  But they are granted from time to time by the Court in very limited situations.

When can a Marriage be Annulled?

One example of where an annulment may be granted is in the case of an incompetent person who has no rights to enter into contracts, gets married without the permission of the conservator or court.   Learn more about incompetency and conservatorship

Another situation in which an annulment can be granted is when the marriage is not consummated. That means that the married couple has not engaged in sexual relations after the nuptials.  There are also times when a court will grant an annulment if there is fraud committed by one of the parties.  For example, one of the parties fails to disclose the inability to have children, despite the prior knowledge of such condition.

You should discuss this issue with a skilled domestic relations or family law attorney.

Learn more about divorce and the domestic relations attorneys of Purple Law Firm in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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