There are different ways spouses could end their marriage. Divorce is the most common, although some cases filed in Florida will end in annulments. There is a significant legal difference between these two, and spouses might need to review their cases to see which one proves appropriate.
Divorce vs. annulment
Both divorce and annulment end a marriage, but the legal distinction is stark. A divorce means the status of the couple changes from married to single. The marriage ends on the date of the final divorce decree, and the union no longer exists. With an annulment, however, the court agrees that the marriage was never valid in the first place. Still, marriage records exist even after a legal annulment decree comes from the court.
While one party can be entirely at fault for a divorce due to adultery or abusive behavior, fault is not necessary to file for or receive a divorce decree. Irreconcilable differences could end a marriage that simply no longer works out. There needs to be a more defined reason for the marriage to be invalid with an annulment.
Reasons for an annulment may include forcing someone into marriage, bigamy, incest, fraud, and other egregious grounds. Spouses must realize that the time frame of a marriage might factor into whether an annulment is possible. If too much time passes, certain cases may be ineligible for an annulment decree.
Reviewing the case
It might be wise to determine whether an annulment is possible when ending a marriage. If not, divorce proceedings would become the likely next option. One potential benefit to divorce proceedings could be the financial decrees, such as court-mandated alimony payments. Annulled marriages would not likely involve spousal support.