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What’s the difference between annulment and divorce?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2022 | Divorce |

When a marriage in Wisconsin falls apart, there are two options for dissolving the union: annulment or divorce. Both have their pros and cons, which can make it difficult to decide which route to take. While these concepts sound similar, they are actually quite different.


This is the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court. The marriage has to have been valid in the first place in order for it to get dissolved. Once a divorce is granted, both parties are free to remarry. There are two types of divorce: contested and uncontested. In a contested divorce, the couple cannot agree on at least one key issue, such as child custody or division of assets. This type of divorce can be more time-consuming and expensive. An uncontested divorce is when the couple agrees on all key issues. This type of divorce is usually quicker and less costly.


An annulment is a legal procedure that declares a marriage null and void. A marriage can be annulled if it was never valid to begin with or if it was the result of fraud, force or bigamy. For instance, in many cases, an annulment is granted if one party was underage or intoxicated when the marriage took place. Once a marriage is annulled, it’s as if the union never existed. This can be beneficial for couples who want to erase all evidence of their marriage.

Clearly, there are several key differences between annulment and divorce. For one, divorce is only available to couples who have been legally married, while annulment can get granted to couples who have not been legally married. Secondly, divorce involves dissolving a valid marriage, while annulment essentially erases the marriage as if it never happened. Before choosing between annulment and divorce, it’s important to understand the implications of each and how they can affect your life going forward.