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What is the difference between a divorce, separation and annulment?

Los Angeles, CA |

I am thinking about things and want to know the difference.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

A divorce dissolves a legal marriage and returns the spouses to the status of single people. A separation does not dissolve the marriage but it can affect the legal rights and responsibilities of the spouses by formalizing the separation of spouses. An annulment voids a legally defective marriage and has the same effect as if the parties to a void or voidable marriage were never married.

Best of luck to you.

Attorney Rebekah Ryan Main

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This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges. We can be visited on the web at www.Main-Law.com or call 909-891-0906.

This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges.

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Posted

In simple terms....

Divorce - You were married and went through the legal process to terminate the marriage, the records will show you were previously married.
Separation - You are still married but not living together as husband and wife.
Annulment - You were married but the marriage was essentially erased from the records as if it never happened. Annulments are typically very hard to get and have very specific facts to be proper.

If you are in Massachusetts, my answering of your question does not constitute an attorney/client relationship and are for informational purposes only. If you wish to contact me to discuss your question further I offer a 30 minute free consultation and can be reached at 413-522-6263. If you are not in Massachusetts I am not giving you legal advice as I am not licensed in your state and my comments should be viewed as for informational purposes only.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

i like pie

William N. Chambers

William N. Chambers

Posted

I do too.

Posted

My colleagues have given entirely accurate answers. I emphasize that "separation" and "annulments" are much rarer than divorces, and that all are more effectively accomplished with the assistance of an attorney.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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