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What is the difference between annulment and divorce in Nevada? With good reason, Las Vegas is known as the “wedding capital of the world.” Each month, lots of marriage licenses get granted here. Sadly, a lot of Las Vegas weddings end up being short-lived marriages. 

Most people know there are two ways to end a marriage: annulment and divorce, but only some know the differences. A divorce can be obtained by any individual who is married but no longer desires to be. However, you must show that the marriage was illegitimate or unlawful to obtain an annulment. In contrast to divorce, which acknowledges that your marriage occurred but ended, divorce treats your marriage as if it never happened.

Help is available from the attorneys at Donn W. Prokopius, Chtd, if you wish to end your marriage in Nevada. Whether it’s a divorce or an annulment, we have years of experience helping clients through some of their most challenging times. Reach out to us now!

Divorce Lawyer in Las Vegas Nevada

Difference in the Legal Effect

The legal effect of an annulment and a divorce is one of the main differences. A Nevada court’s annulment of a marriage declares it null and void. An annulment indicates that the law never recognized the marriage.

A divorce decree, however, does not make a marriage void. A divorce irreversibly ends a legal marriage. From the moment of the parties’ marriage until the divorce decree date, the marriage was valid for all intents and purposes.

Although divorce and annulment have different legal consequences, Nevada courts have comparable power in these cases. As a part of the process, the court may decide on child support, custody, property division, and debt responsibility. However, because an annulled marriage will be legally void, spouses who obtain an annulment usually do not receive spousal support or alimony.

What Is an Annulment?

An annulment is a statement that a marriage never legally took place. A district court, usually the one where you reside or in which the marriage took place, is where you file for annulment. Regardless of where you live, you can apply for an annulment if you were married in Nevada. You must live in Nevada for six weeks after getting married elsewhere to file for an annulment.

If the court approves the annulment, it is declared as the marriage is and was void from the beginning. If your marriage is “void” or “voidable” according to Nevada law, it is void and subject to annulment. 

Grounds for Annulment

Annulment requests must include proof of exceptional circumstances. The grounds for annulment can be found in NRS Chapter 125, “Dissolution of Marriage,” which is Nevada law. Most grounds are simple to comprehend and entail fraud or dishonesty in some form.

  • Prohibited. Either you remain married to someone else, or you’re both blood relatives. If you are already married, you cannot marry again without divorcing your current husband. There have been multiple annulments resulting from prior divorces that were never finalized. It is forbidden to marry your niece, cousin, or another close relative. This isn’t Virginia; this is Las Vegas.
  • Misunderstanding. The marriage happened because of stress, alcohol, or medication, impairing one party’s ability to understand the other entirely. There are many pubs, nightclubs, and wedding chapels in Las Vegas. That explains why Las Vegas has become the epicenter for weekend marriages and the epicenter for Monday morning annulments.
  • Underage. An annulment may result from not having received parental approval or from being less than 18 at the time of marriage. You might have validated your marriage if you were married while underage and continued to be so after turning eighteen.
  • Deceit or Fraud. Getting married to get U.S. citizenship or concealing prior marriages are two more examples of fraud. Examples of deceit include lying on your criminal record, IRS debt, bankruptcy, drug addiction, or sexual orientation. You may be eligible for an annulment for both fraud and deceit.
  • Contract Breach. An agreement made by one party in exchange for action by another is called a contract. Marriage serves as a social contract. It’s possible that you and your spouse made vows to change religions or have children. Should they not have made these promises, would you still be married today? Should they decide otherwise, you may be able to file for an annulment.

As you can see, the most acceptable reasons for an annulment entail deception, fraud, or mistake. Since honesty and trust are the cornerstones of a marriage, when these are absent or willfully disregarded, Nevada law provides the innocent victim with a way to right the wrong.

Remember that the court will want proof in any case involving fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit. It could be necessary for you to seek confirmation in writing, provide proof, or obtain an affidavit through another individual. Should you require assistance gathering the necessary proof before the court’s proof hearing, a service from a divorce lawyer in Las Vegas could help.

Void Marriages

Void marriages “are forbidden by law.” A marriage is null and void specifically when:

  • The parties are blood-related, or
  • Either party is married.

It is legal for people to be married who are no closer than second cousins or “cousins of the half blood.” A parent’s half-sibling’s child is called a “cousin of the half-blood.” 

Even if you are going through a divorce, if you have a partner currently living in a legally recognized marriage, you are already married. Remarrying is regarded as bigamy, which, if done willfully, is a category D felony.

A void marriage is one that never was. A void marriage is immediately null and void by law, even if a judge rules that it has been annulled. To obtain a definitive legal statement, it remains beneficial to file for annulment, particularly if one or both parties intend to marry in the future. A skilled family law lawyer can guide you through obtaining official proof that your marriage was void. Speak with a Las Vegas divorce attorney right away by getting in touch!

Voidable Marriages

A marriage can be voidable if:

  • One of the spouses, who was under the age of 18, got married without getting approval from the district court, parent, or guardian.
  • There was a “want of understanding” between the spouses.
  • Through fraud, either of the spouses convinced the other to get married.
  • There were marital situations that might allow a judge to declare a contract invalidated.

In contrast to void marriages, a voidable marriage can be purposefully or unintentionally made legal. A voidable marriage that you make valid can only be revoked if there are conflicting grounds.

What Is a Divorce?

Divorce law is simple, even though the process itself is complex. It is necessary for either spouse to live in Nevada for a minimum of six weeks and must:

  • Be married
  • No desire to be

Although there are only three legal grounds for divorce, incompatibility is the main reason for most divorces. Divorce acknowledges your previous marriage while legally severing your relationship with your partner. For legal and tax reasons, your marital status turns “divorced” after your divorce is completed.

Each spouse gets half of the couple’s joint property, barring an agreement to the contrary. Additionally, one spouse may ask for either ongoing or one-time alimony. The parties must decide on matters about child support, visitation, and custody if there are any children. 

Divorce Law in Nevada

What Happens With Shared Property and Children?

After having shared children, you go through the same child custody, child support, and visitation procedures as any other couple who is no longer parenting together if your marriage is dissolved. The courts have the authority to allocate the parties’ property as though they had been lawfully married if their marriage lasted for a considerable time before annulment. If not, the parties typically do not have the right to divide property. In an annulment, without fraud or malice on the side of one person, courts don’t grant alimony regardless of property division.

The Difference Between Annulment And Divorce in Nevada

The differences between annulment and divorce are essential, even if they often overlap. In particular, 

  • The grounds for a divorce may be based solely on incompatibility. However, the grounds for an annulment are more narrow;
  • An annulment indicates that there was never a marriage in law;
  • There is no residency requirement for an annulment if you are married in Nevada.
  • In annulments, property division is less common, and alimony is typically not awarded.

The filing process is the same despite these differences. Whether a separation or annulment fits you can be determined with the help of a knowledgeable family law professional.

Deciding Between Divorce and Annulment

Speak with a knowledgeable Nevada divorce attorney if you’re unsure if your circumstances qualify for a divorce or annulment. Your attorney helps you in choosing the approach that will work best for your situation. In certain situations, a lawyer might advise submitting a petition, which is legal in Nevada, asking for a divorce or an annulment.

The burden of proof in court for any annulment is very high. An annulment is far less common in Nevada than a divorce. If you try to obtain an annulment without the assistance of an experienced attorney, you may run into serious issues. Another key reason legal representation is vital in any hearing is the court’s jurisdiction to decide on property rights, spousal support or alimony in a divorce, and child custody and support.

Talk with a Skilled Nevada Annulment and Divorce Lawyer

If you’re navigating the complex legal landscape of annulment or divorce in Nevada, it’s crucial to have the proper guidance and expertise by your side. Donn W. Prokopius, Chtd. is the name you can rely on. Our team of skilled Nevada divorce lawyers is here to assist you every step of the way. 

Whether you have questions about the requirements for annulment or divorce, the validity of your marriage, the necessary documents and paperwork, or need legal advice, we are here to provide the assistance you need. 

For consultation and more information, call our law firm at (702) 474-0500.