Divorce can create an unstable home life in which the kids’ needs are no longer the priority. Image from Thinkstock

Q24n – An annulment is a process that ends a marriage. It is a legal process that is like divorce, but there is a major difference. If a court grants a divorce, it is considered the dissolution of a marriage. An annulment means that not only are the two people no longer married in the eyes of the court, the marriage never existed.

In other words, the judicial system will be saying that the marriage should have never occurred.

Are There Legal Reasons for an Annulment?

For a spouse or couple to get an annulment, the marriage must be eligible to be ‘voided’. This means that a marriage that is void is invalid because its basis is illegal.

The most classic examples of these types of marriages are cases that involve bigamy or incest. Bigamy means that a person marries someone while they are still married to another person. A marriage that is incestuous is invalid in the entire country because it is a marriage of two people who are very closely related.

These situations can be difficult for children to understand and even more difficult for adults to explain. It is common for the court system to appoint a Rutgers Online social worker graduate to help children understand the process and encourage them to talk about their feelings.

A marriage can legally exist and still be considered voidable. In a situation like this, even having the marriage annulled does not terminate the relationship automatically. A spouse must file the action for annulment with the court system. The annulment action will request termination of the marriage.

What are the Effects of an Annulment?

In most cases, where the marriage was short-lived, each partner can go their separate ways after the judge has granted the annulment. However, it is much more complicated if these spouses are expats with children in Costa Rica.

Even if the court grants the annulment, it will not handle issues such as child custody, child visitation, and child support. The family may have a masters of social work online graduate and a mediator assigned to their case to help them with these issues. Issues of spousal support and the division of real estate will also need to be discussed. The division of property can be especially delicate if property has been purchased in Costa Rica.

Regardless of whether it is a divorce or annulment, the welfare of any minor children will take precedence of other issues like spousal support. Also, just because a marriage may be annulled, that action will not negate the legitimacy of any children the couple share.

Other Points to Consider

Neither partner can change their minds about getting the annulment after learning about some of the reasons the marriage could be granted an annulment.

Also, after an annulment, spouses lose any rights they may have had to an inheritance through the other spouse. However, this law can vary between jurisdictions.

Annulments can be complicated, especially if you are temporarily living in another country as an expat. An online MSW degree professional can help the entire family move past this difficult part of their lives.