Couples in New Mexico may find that divorce is their only option after being unable to resolve marital issues. Annulment is another way to legally end a marriage, but there are significant differences between the two.
RoybalMackLaw.DivorceNM.com provides legal support to people wishing to represent themselves during the divorce process. We can also help you understand the difference between divorce and annulment so you can make the best possible decision to move forward with your life.
Divorce vs. Annulment
While filing for divorce causes a marriage to end, it presumes that the union was legally valid in the first place. This is not the case with an annulment. An annulment ends a marriage under the presumption that it was never legally binding in the first place. While this legal process renders a marriage null and void, it will still be discoverable in public records.
With a divorce, couples don’t necessarily need to cite a specific reason for why the union ended. While fault divorces involve a reason, such as infidelity, many couples pursue no-fault divorces, which often cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for separation.
Those filing for annulments must cite a reason. This usually involves one spouse being tricked or mislead by the actions of the other. Once hidden information has been revealed, the spouse filing for the annulment requests that the court to nullify the union.
Common Reasons to File for an Annulment
To file for an annulment, one must have legal grounds. This process is subject to a higher degree scrutiny than divorces commonly are, given the seriousness of the request. Common reasons for annulment include:
- One or both spouses weren’t of sound mind when a marriage took place. This could be due to mental illness or substance use
- One or both spouses weren’t of legal age at the time of the wedding.
- One or both spouses were already married to another person.
- One spouse misrepresented him or herself to the other party. This is often the case when a person has a child from a previous relationship that he or she doesn’t disclose.
- One or both spouses are unable to consummate the marriage due to sexual dysfunction.
After an annulment, the couple is usually not entitled to things like alimony. Property division is also handled differently, since the marriage was considered not to have existed in the first place.
We Can Help You Decide
If you plan on filing for an annulment in New Mexico, you may be best served by securing professional legal counsel. However, if you’re filing for divorce and are in agreement with your spouse about major issues, we are here to help.
We provide divorce packages, each of which addresses common situations. If you need further assistance or have questions about divorce paperwork, we can also help you arrange an attorney consultation.