Should I Divorce
When it comes to parting ways in any marriage relationship, most spouses are torn between getting an annulment or divorce. For annulment, the judge decides on how to handle issues about child custody, division of assets and liabilities or any other marriage issues just as in a divorce case. While both may seem to have one main agenda, there is a difference between the two as the outcomes are dissimilar. Anyone contemplating divorce or annulment should better familiarize themselves with the basic involved.

Annulment Versus Divorce

If you are contemplating about annulment instead of divorce, it would be a good idea to first speak with an experienced divorce lawyer to know how to get divorce in Ontario. This makes more sense to anyone who may have a contested divorce. In Canada, there are two types of annulment, including:
  • Legal annulment: Where a court order declares a marriage invalid
  • Religious annulment: The government or the court does not recognize this annulment. Meaning, even if you obtain a religious annulment, you will still be considered married under Canadian law.

The procedure for annulment and divorce may differ in some ways. They include:

  • Court decisions: With an annulment, the court concludes that a marriage was void at the beginning, and it would be unlikely to have an award for property or spousal support. The only main advantage is that annulment doesn’t affect a child’s rights to any financial support. Canadian law is very stringent when it comes to child support guidelines. In a divorce, the court determines the marriage was legal and hence gives direction on how to part ways on matters related to spousal support, child support and custody, among others. No one can ask for spousal support in an invalidated marriage. The bottom line is that an annulment invalidates a marriage whereas a divorce brings to an end a marriage.
  • Cost: Annulment is costly compared to divorce, especially when it’s contested. An uncontested annulment is more costly compare to an uncontested divorce. The reason is that there is a simplified process of getting divorced in Ontario or any other part of Canada, and the involved parties may not even have to appear in court, whereas annulment requires a court appearance. Again, there will be no legal advantage if you choose to get an annulment instead of divorce.

One similarity is that there must be grounds followed for one to obtain annulment or divorce. But the reasons differ. One spouse must give a reason for divorce or annulment. However, for divorce, it’s not enough to state that you have an irreparable breakdown of a marriage; you ought to have lived apart for a year before obtaining a divorce in Canada. Annulments are generally used to end a marriage that lasts for a very short period.

Should I Get Annulment Or Divorce?

Canada is a no-fault divorce state. Meaning, you don’t have to prove that your spouse is to blame for the marriage breakdown. While no-fault rules may vary depending on the province or territory one resides in, one is more likely to get it smooth if they choose to get a divorce in cases where both spouses have agreed on matters of property division, child custody or spousal support. In such a case, one can have an uncontested divorce which is less costly and less time-consuming. In situations where both spouses fail to agree, they may choose to have contested divorce. For annulment, one must follow the set-out guidelines, which includes:
  • One spouse was under 18 years of age at the time of marriage and had no parental consent.
  • One or both spouses were of unsound mind.
  • One spouse was married to someone else during the time of the marriage, and the other spouse getting married was not aware.
  • The marriage was between relatives or someone who is related in blood.

If all signs show that your marriage cannot be consummated, then you may qualify for an annulment. Unfortunately, for anyone who knows that at the time of their marriage that is was not possible to consummate a marriage, it becomes impossible to get an annulment in Canada. For the judge to grant an annulment request, you must prove the above. It’s only then your marriage will be treated as it never happened. The above shows that it’s better to consider going through a divorce instead of annulment. It’s important to note that chances for one to get an annulment in Ontario are quite limited. However, the best decision should be made by your divorce lawyer.

Getting Legal Help

If you want to end your marriage, you may consider looking for a divorce lawyer to advise you whether an annulment is appropriate. A good lawyer can advise you on matters related to child custody, debts or liabilities and spousal support. In cases where you may have assets together, the best way to terminate your marriage would be to have either an uncontested or contested divorce.