Prenup agreement

Frequently Asked Questions about Separation and Annulment

It is common to hear people who want to go through divorce process. There are options aside from divorce such as separation and annulment. Here are the frequently asked questions about this topic.

Is annulment different from divorce?

It really depends on the situation. The primary thing that makes the two processes different is that annulment makes the marriage as if it doesn’t exist at all. Meaning, the marriage never existed in the first place. For many people, they don’t want to experience the stigma of experiencing a divorce proceeding. In this case, the solution is annulment. If we talk about religious reasons, there are churches that do not allow you to remarry if you have gone through divorce. No wonder it is advisable to have annulment instead.

The legal grounds to file an annulment are available for married couples. These are fraud or misrepresentation during the marriage, one spouse concealed something from the other such as addiction or having sexually-transmitted disease, inability or refusal to consummate marriage and a simple but huge misunderstanding. You must at least one of the aforementioned reasons.

There are rules that provide guidance for dividing property after going through an annulment process as well as determining child custody, visitation rights and support obligations of the parents. Always remember that children whose parents have had their marriage annulled are not considered illegitimate by the law.

If two people married, can they be considered separated?

The answer to this question is yes. However, we need to discuss the four kinds of separation to avoid confusions in understanding the said legal process.

The first one is trial separation. It means the couple chooses to live separately for a certain period of time. The properties of both spouses are still considered jointly owned by them. This is not usually favored by law. The second one is living apart. This means living separately or each one lives in different houses. In most cases, the property of both spouses are considered separate especially is divorce proceedings has started. The third one is permanent separation. A permanent separation means that both spouses finally decided to live separately through court proceedings. However, this is not usually considered legal separation, which is the last type of separation in legal aspect of the marriage ties. Basically, legal separation happens when a couple splits up and seeks a court issued judgment for a division of property, child custody, support payments, visitation rights, but not for divorce.

In all of these circumstances, it is also proper to seek legal assistance from a lawyer. If you need an experienced lawyer go to and contact a legal counsel to help you protect your rights and interests. 

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Revised: Sept. 28, 2018, 9:07 a.m.
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