Divorce is a legal declaration that ends a marriage before one of the spouses dies. Upon filing, a spouse may choose a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce. During proceedings, several aspects of the divorce are decided including division of assets, child custody, and alimony.
A legal separation is a judicially recognized separation between spouses, however they are still considered to be married. Since separation requirements are determined by state, it could be helpful to consult with a family law lawyer to gain clarity on the stipulations in your area.
An annulment treats the marriage as if it never happened. Grounds for an annulment include incest, bigotry, forced or fraudulent marriage, or one or both spouses were under the influence during the marriage proceedings. Similar to a divorce, a judge may divide marital assets.
Depending upon your situation, any of these choices could work for you. To learn more about each process and to gain clarity on the best marriage dissolution option for you, contact a divorce attorney today.