Maryland Divorce & Family Law Attorneys
111 Rockville Pike, Suite #740 - Rockville, MD 20850

Is There a Difference Between An Annulment and A Divorce?

When a Silver Spring marriage ends after a short period of time, some couples may question whether they should petition the Maryland court for an annulment or whether they should file for a divorce. Which one is correct is often a question for a Silver Spring lawyer. Depending on the circumstances, marriage for less than a year doesn’t necessarily mean that the couple is eligible for an annulment. An annulment means that the marriage is void and never really happened. A divorce dissolves a marriage. While the length of a marriage may be reflected by unusual circumstances, that in itself doesn’t qualify the couple for an annulment.

Some things that can qualify a Silver Spring couple for an annulment include:

  • Being intoxicated, under duress or insane at the time of the nuptials
  • At least one spouse is already married to someone else
  • The couple married under fraudulent circumstances.

There are two basic grounds for divorce that couples can file under in Maryland, fault and no fault. Knowing which one fits and makes the most sense often requires the advice of a Silver Spring attorney.

For a no-fault divorce, the couple must live separate and apart with no cohabitation during that time.

Grounds for a fault divorce in Maryland include:

  • Desertion
  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
  • Criminal Conviction
  • Insanity

The circumstances of a divorce can affect the ability of one spouse to collect alimony support from the other, so the grounds under which a Maryland divorce is granted may make a difference. In some cases, whether both parties agree to divorce can also affect the outcome of the case.

If you’re considering an annulment or a divorce, it is always a good idea to obtain legal advice, rather than going it alone. The Montgomery County divorce and annulment attorneys at Hecht & Associates can help you to determine the best course of action through a consultation appointment.