Annulments are a somewhat rare occurrence these days. If family law courts allowed people to annul marriages without discretion, couples experiencing even a minor conflict could simply choose to invalidate the marriage. This does not serve the much-revered concept of family preservation in America.
However, you should understand what annulment really means. Unlike divorce, annulment renders a marriage invalid. This is just another way to say that the marriage never existed in the first place. Annulment offers an attractive benefit in that it exempts a couple from having to get a divorce. However, the process has several significant disadvantages as well, including:
- Loss of property like a home or a car if you are not the legal owner
- Potential loss of fathers’ rights
- Loss of the right to a portion of your former spouse’s estate if he or she dies
Another disadvantage associated with annulment is the loss of alimony rights. Because a Florida court ruled that your marriage was invalid, you will not be allowed to receive alimony from your former partner. For couples that were not together for very long, the loss of alimony rights might not be a major concern. However, for couples that were together for years or decades, the loss of alimony could pose serious financial hardships.
It is wise for couples preparing to part ways to find out how both divorce and annulment may affect their rights. By educating yourself about any legal issues associated with ending a marriage, you and your spouse will be better prepared to find a fair and equitable solution.
Source: FindLaw, “Annulments – Overview,” accessed March 30, 2018