What’s the Difference Between Legal Separation, Annulment, and Divorce?Putnam Law Office
Many couples find themselves in a situation in which they are unsure whether they are eligible for an annulment, legal separation, or divorce. Most people try to avoid the divorce process because of all the tedious legal matters that come with this type of separation. Knowing the differences between these three types of separation can help you figure out which option best fits your situation. Talk to an Oklahoma City Family Lawyer if you are still unsure which route you should take.
What is an Annulment?
An annulment is issued to a couple by the court in situations where the marriage was invalid because certain legal conditions were not met. To be considered legally married in Oklahoma, the grounds for marriage must exist. Marriages that do not meet these grounds can happen unknowingly or through the use of deception by one of the partners. Deception may grant you automatic annulment if evidence of fraud from your partner is found.
The grounds for marriage in Oklahoma require both partners to be 18 years old, to live together, and to share the same last name. You may be eligible for marriage annulment if your partner is under the age of 18, married to someone else, divorced from a prior partner within the last six months, or mentally incompetent. Your marriage may also be annulled if the marriage was not consummated.
Divorce differs from annulment because divorce does meet the grounds for marriage. Annulments started out invalid, but divorces were valid marriages to begin with.
Basics of Legal Separation
Legal separations do not legally end a marriage in the way that divorces do. A legal separation allows each partner to have time away from each other while settling their marriage issues. Each marriage partner may live separately from each other and can request similar orders to divorce. Child custody, visitation schedules, and financial support are some of the court orders that can be requested.
There are various reasons a couple may seek legal separation over divorce. One of these reasons is to avoid conflict with their own and their partner’s religious groups. Common reasons for seeking legal separation are the discovery of adultery, frequent arguments, alcohol, physical or psychological abuse, child abuse, the onset of mental illness, and substance addiction.
Divorce differs from legal separation in that divorce breaks the marriage contract and some of the legal ties marriage comes with. Separated couples may still be responsible for some things, like paying child support or alimony, but their incomes will remain separate. Many people try to avoid divorce because of the tedious nature of uncontested divorces. Disagreements about certain things, like child custody, can create real tension in court and this can take time to settle.
Family Attorney in Oklahoma
Trying to figure out whether you should obtain a divorce or legal separation can be a complicated choice. An experienced Oklahoma Divorce Lawyer has the training necessary to guide you in the direction that best suits your needs. Contact the Putnam Law Office at (405) 726-1010 today for a consultation. Mr. Putnam is an Oklahoma City, OK attorney who puts clients first.