Difference between an annulment and a divorce in Georgia

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Family Law

When a relationship reaches a point where separation is inevitable, you may have to choose between an annulment or a divorce. While both options serve the purpose of ending a marriage, they are fundamentally different in both process and implications. Specific laws and regulations govern these two legal actions, and understanding the differences is essential to making the right choice for your unique situation.

Here is a closer look at the differences between an annulment and a divorce in Georgia.

What is an annulment?

An annulment is a legal process that nullifies a marriage, treating it as if it never existed. In Georgia, you can seek an annulment under certain circumstances, such as fraud, force or incapacity at the time of the marriage. The annulment erases the marriage from legal records and both parties return to their single status.

What are the grounds for annulment?

To qualify for an annulment in Georgia, you must meet specific grounds or reasons. These can include:

  • Marrying under duress or force
  • Fraudulent representation or concealment of vital information
  • Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage
  • Marrying a close relative

An underage marriage without proper consent is also grounds for an annulment.

What is a divorce?

Unlike an annulment, a divorce acknowledges that the marriage was valid but has since broken down irretrievably. Divorce proceedings in Georgia deal with various issues, such as property division, child custody, alimony and more. Once the divorce is final, both parties are free to remarry and move on with their lives.

What are some grounds for divorce?

In Georgia, you can file for a divorce on either fault or no-fault grounds. No-fault divorce simply means that neither party blames the other for the breakdown of the marriage. Fault grounds can include reasons such as adultery, abandonment, cruelty or addiction.

Understanding the grounds and implications for both an annulment and a divorce helps you make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and circumstances. Carefully consider your options and seek guidance from knowledgeable friends or family members to ensure you choose the best path for your future.