When you need to separate from your spouse, you may have different legal options at your disposal. A qualified family law attorney is the best resource for information as you try to determine the right course of action. Whether you opt for a legal separation, annulment, divorce or declaration of invalidity, the right legal team will ensure that you receive the best possible advice.
For some couples, annulment provides the best solution. Annulment serves to declare a marriage “null and void.” It is different from a divorce in that an annulment means that the marriage legally never took place, even though it physically did. In most jurisdictions, it is null and void from the date of the original marriage. This option often works well for couples who have a moral or religious reason for avoiding divorce.
Divorce is the legal ending of a marriage. In a divorce, the marriage is completely acknowledged, but it is legally severed. Couples often must divide the marital estate in a divorce, which is what makes having an attorney so valuable.
A legal separation does not end a marriage union. However, the couple is under a court order that limits the contact between them. They live separate lives while remaining legally married. Couples often still divide their assets and negotiate child custody arrangements, and some will follow through with a divorce after the legal separation.
A final option for ending a marriage is the declaration of invalidity. This is similar to an annulment, but is only offered in a few states. It requires that certain criteria be met, such as one party was unable to consent to the marriage at the time of the union due to mental incapacity, drug use or infirmity. Like an annulment, this process declares the marriage invalid and like it never occurred.
Because of the variety of options available, you need a qualified family law attorney. Contact Eagle Law Offices, P.S. at (206) 426-6961 to learn more.