Annulment Vs. Divorce in Florida

January 25, 2024by Adam Sacks

What is Annulment?

Annulment is a legal process that declares a marriage null and void, as if it had never taken place. Unlike divorce, which ends a valid marriage, annulment essentially erases the marriage from existence. [1]

An annulment can occur in Florida for a variety of reasons, such as if one party was not of legal age to marry, if one party was already married at the time of the wedding, or if there was fraud or coercion involved in the marriage.

An annulment is a way for individuals to legally dissolve a marriage that was not valid or legitimate from the start.

The process of obtaining an annulment varies by jurisdiction and can involve proving specific grounds for annulment in court.


What is Divorce?

Florida is a no fault divorce state and reasons for divorce often include an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

The filing requirements include residency in the state for at least six months and the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage in the circuit court where the petitioner resides. Methods of divorce resolution in Florida include:

What is Divorce?


Divorce, legal separation, and annulment are different legal processes. Divorce legally ends a marriage, legal separation allows couples to live apart but remain legally married, and annulment declares a marriage invalid due to specific legal reasons.

The divorce process in Florida typically involves filing a petition, attending mediation or court hearings, and ultimately obtaining a final judgment.

The emotional implications of divorce can be significant, and the financial implications may involve issues such as:

  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Division of assets


Difference between Annulment and Divorce

Annulment and divorce both involve ending a marriage, but there are key differences between the two.

An annulment declares that the marriage was never valid, essentially erasing it as if it never existed. This may be sought for reasons such as:

  • Fraud
  • Inability to consent to the marriage
  • Misrepresentation


On the other hand, divorce dissolves a valid marriage, acknowledging that it once existed but is now being terminated. Divorce is typically sought due to:

  • Infidelity
  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Other breakdowns in the marriage

An annulment may be more difficult to obtain, depending on the specific circumstances of the marriage.

The reasons for seeking each option can vary, but generally, an annulment may be pursued when there are specific legal grounds to question the validity of the marriage, while a divorce is sought to terminate a valid marriage due to irreconcilable differences.


Advantages of Annulment Vs. Divorce in Florida

In Florida, there are some key advantages to choosing annulment over divorce. One of the main benefits is that with annulment, the marriage is essentially declared invalid, and this can be advantageous for individuals who wish to completely erase the marriage from their records.

In terms of spousal support, annulment typically means that there is no obligation for support, whereas in divorce cases, there may be requirements for one party to provide support to the other.

Complications can arise if one party does not agree to the annulment petition and opts for a divorce instead. This can lead to legal battles and disputes over the validity of the marriage, as well as issues with spousal support and property division.

Advantages of Annulment Vs. Divorce in Florida


If you are considering filing for a divorce or an annulment contact our experienced divorce lawyers at Sacks & Sacks today. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process.



by Adam Sacks

Adam Sacks is lead Family Law Attorney at Law Offices of Sacks & Sacks, P.A. in Jacksonville, Florida. He has a BA in Psychology from 1994, and received his Juris Doctor Degree in 1999 from the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

Sacks and Sacks Law
1646 Emerson St. Suite B Jacksonville, FL 32207

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