Your marriage has ended. You want to move on with your life, but before you can do that you need to legally end your marriage. You may be wondering how best to do that. Can your marriage be annulled? Should you go through a divorce?

There are very limited circumstances when a marriage may be annulled in Pennsylvania. Typically, a marriage can be annulled if:

  • At least one party to the marriage was mentally impaired at the time of themarriage.
  • At least one party to the marriage lacked the legal authority to enter a marriage contract.
  • The marriage was illegal.
  • The marriage could not be consummated.

An annulment that is granted makes it as if the marriage never happened at all.

A divorce, however, recognizes that the marriage occurred and has since dissolved.

Assuming that an annulment and divorce are both legal options, for you it is important to know why you might want to consider getting a divorce rather than an annulment. Specifically, a divorce may be advantageous if:

  1. You have children. An annulment means that the marriage never occurred. Thus, issues such as child custody and support are not included in annulment proceedings but the law’s view that the
    marriage never occurred after an annulment is granted may impact other child custody and support proceedings.
  2. You have property that needs dividing. Similarly, property division is not an issue in an annulment, but the fact that the marriage never occurred in the eyes of the law can impact how property is divided during other legal proceedings.
  3. You don’t clearly qualify for an annulment. In which case the annulment process may be more expensive than divorce.

To learn more about whether an annulment or divorce is right for you, please contact a Pennsylvania family lawyer for more information.