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What is the Difference Between Annulment and Divorce?

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In Missouri, there is a legal distinction between annulment and divorce. Here are the key differences:


  • An annulment treats a marriage as if it never legally existed.
  • It can be granted if the marriage meets certain grounds for being invalid or void from the start.
  • Common grounds for annulment in Missouri include marriage between close relatives, one spouse being underage, one spouse being incapable of consenting due to mental incapacity, fraud, duress, or failure to consummate the marriage.
  • After an annulment, it’s as if the marriage never took place legally.


  • A divorce legally terminates a valid marriage.
  • No grounds of invalidity are required – a “no-fault” divorce can be granted if the marriage is irretrievably broken.
  • After a divorce, the marriage is legally dissolved, but it is recognized as having been legally valid while it existed.
  • Issues like division of property, child custody, and spousal support must be resolved.

In summary, an annulment treats the marriage as invalid from the beginning, while a divorce ends a legally valid marriage. Annulments have stricter grounds and different legal implications than divorces in Missouri.

At Raza Family Law Solutions, we practice family law effectively guiding clients through prenuptial and post nuptial agreements, dissolution of marriage, modifications of prior judgments, and resolving child custody disputes. We also help families take a different approach to divorce with mediation and collaborative work.  Contact us for a consultation at (314) 408-5957.

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