No one enters a marriage expecting it to end. But unfortunately, it is a reality for many couples. Conflicts can arise for many reasons, and when they do, it can be challenging to see eye-to-eye on how to resolve them. And sometimes, the best solution is to end the marriage.
Today, the law sees marriage as a contract between two people. And just like any other contract, there are legal ways to end it. So if you’re considering ending your marriage, here are some things to keep in mind:
You can file for a divorce
When ending a marriage, the first thing that comes to mind is filing for a divorce. This process legally severs the ties between you and your spouse. According to a review by Our World in Data, the overall global divorce rate is 4.08 divorces per 1,000 married individuals. That means many people have gone through the process and come out on the other side.
There are numerous grounds for divorce, but the most common is “irreconcilable differences.” It is where you and your spouse have grown apart, and there’s no hope of reconciling your differences. Other grounds for divorce can include adultery, desertion, abuse, and more.
Although filing for divorce is relatively straightforward, it can get complicated if you and your spouse cannot agree on crucial issues like child custody, alimony, or property division. If this is the case, you may want to seek the help of a mediator or a divorce lawyer to help you reach an agreement.
This way, you can go through the process without worrying about making any mistakes that could jeopardize your case.
You can get a legal separation
Divorce isn’t the only way to end a marriage. You can also get a legal separation. This arrangement is where you and your spouse live apart but remain married. According to Family Law, a legal separation can be a good option if you’re not ready to divorce but want to live apart or if you want to maintain your health insurance benefits.
It’s important to note that a legal separation doesn’t end your marriage. You and your spouse will still be married, which means you’ll still have to get a divorce if you ever want to remarry. Nonetheless, a legal separation can provide breathing room for you and your spouse to work on your relationship.
A legal separation might also be an excellent option if you have children. That way, you can still provide them with stability and security. Plus, it can be less disruptive for them if you and your spouse decide to divorce down the line. With a legal separation, you can still live under the same roof and co-parent.
You can annul your marriage
Did you know that you can declare your marriage null and void? Unlike divorce, which ends a valid marriage, an annulment declares that your marriage was never valid, to begin with.
There are a few reasons why you might want to get an annulment instead of a divorce. One reason is if you got married under duress or coercion. It can happen if one spouse threatens the other with getting married. This situation often happens in countries where arranged marriages are still common.
Other grounds for annulment include bigamy, mental incapacity, and fraud. For example, if you find out that your spouse married you to get a green card, you can annul the marriage.
Like divorce, an annulment severs the legal ties between you and your spouse. But unlike divorce, an annulment can be more complicated to obtain. That’s because you’ll need to prove that your marriage was never valid in the first place. So if you’re considering this option, it’s best to consult with a lawyer beforehand.
You can file for a dissolution
In some states, you can file for dissolution, similar to a divorce. The main difference is that a dissolution process doesn’t require you to prove grounds for ending your marriage.
With a dissolution, you and your spouse essentially agree to dissolve your marriage. You’ll need to decide on issues such as child custody, property division, and alimony. Once you reach an agreement, you’ll submit it to the court for approval. If the court approves your dissolution, it will issue a dissolution decree, which officially ends your marriage.
A dissolution can be a good option if you and your spouse want to avoid trial. It’s also generally quicker and cheaper than a divorce.
There are different ways to end a marriage legally, and the above are your options. Each process has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential to consult with a professional before making any decisions. In some cases, you may be able to reach an agreement with your spouse without going to trial. Ultimately, the best way to end a marriage is the one that works best for you and your situation.