In the state of Washington, it may be possible to end your marriage with a divorce or an annulment. However, it’s important to understand that these are two completely different methods of accomplishing this goal, and depending on the circumstances in your case, it may not be possible to get an annulment.
What is an annulment?
Annulling a marriage means that it is no longer recognized in the eyes of the state where it was originally sanctioned. To obtain an annulment, you must show that your marriage would not be considered legal under state law. For instance, it may be possible to invalidate your union by showing that you were tricked or forced into the marriage.
It may also be possible to invalidate a union by proving that you lack the mental capacity to marry or that you weren’t old enough. If an annulment is granted, neither party to the relationship is entitled to anything from their partners.
What is a divorce?
A divorce occurs when a couple decides to end a marriage that is considered valid under state law. If you obtain a divorce from your spouse, you may be entitled to financial and other forms of support. While an annulment may be granted at almost any point after a marriage occurs, you may need to be married for several weeks or months before you can seek a divorce.
Regardless of how you choose to end your marriage, it’s worthwhile to understand that it can be a lengthy and costly process. However, it may be possible to obtain a favorable outcome in your matter by working with a mediator or simply working in good faith with your current spouse to resolve outstanding issues out of court.