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Understanding the Difference Between Divorce and Annulment

Taking the decision to end your relationship is never an easy one, but if you feel like

you need to bring your marriage to an end, it’s important to do your research to fully

understand the process and what is to come.

Depending on how long you have been married, there are two options to bring it to

an end, each with a different process. Here at Carole Nettleton Divorce Solicitor we

can help you to understand your next steps when it comes to divorce proceedings.

If you have been married for less than a year

If your marriage hasn’t yet reached a year, you may be able to apply for an

annulment. This declares the marriage null and void, as if it never happened. You

can annul your marriage if it wasn’t legally valid in the first place, or if the marriage is


This can include a number of different reasons. Your marriage isn’t legally valid if

you are closely related, one or both of you were under 16, or one of you was already

married or in a civil partnership.

You may also annul your marriage if it wasn’t consummated, you didn’t properly

consent or the other person had an STD at the time of the marriage. If your spouse

was pregnant by someone else at the time, or one spouse is transitioning into a

different gender you may also annual the marriage.

If you have been married for more than a year

After a year of marriage, you can file a divorce petition. The primary reason for

beginning divorce proceedings is if the relationship has irretrievably broken down,

which can be proven by adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion or separation.

If you have been deserted for more than two years, or you have been living

separately for more than five years, you can seek a divorce. However, if you have

been living separately for more than two years, you must both agree to the divorce


Deciding to divorce your partner can be an emotional and tense time, especially if

there are other issues such as children, money and property. It can be helpful to

seek expert advice through a family law solicitor such as myself, who can guide you

through the process.

How I can help

If you are a high net worth individual, have complex pension issues, multiple

businesses or other complex financial circumstances, seeking help from a family law

solicitor can be incredibly helpful.

Getting appropriate legal advice can help you to not only understand the process but also resolve any financial concerns you might have surrounding a divorce. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any further assistance.

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