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What is the Difference between Annulment and Divorce?

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Sometimes, married couples end up facing difficult issues that have become impossible to resolve. These couples often come to a decision and agree that they have to go their separate ways. When this happens, a couple can consider a few legal options to officially end their marriage. One option is going through a divorce. Another is filing for an annulment.

According to the website of the Arenson Law Group, PC divorce attorneys in Cedar Rapids IA, an annulment is generally a legal procedure that allows a marriage to be declared null and void. In other words, couples who file for an annulment are found as if they have never been married after the process is over and can legally declare their civil status as “single”. In comparison, a person who went through divorce proceedings will have to identify as “divorced”. The main reason most couples choose this option is because of religions considerations. There are some religions, like Roman Catholicism, that prohibit sanctioning divorce or remarrying. Couples can obtain an annulment within their own religious institutions, but they will also need to undergo the civil procedure in court in order for their marriage to be absolved in the eyes of the law.

Because an annulment declares a couple’s marriage to basically be without value or effect, being granted a positive decision by the court will require notable circumstances. In particular, most states in the United States grant annulments in cases that involve fraud or misrepresentation, if a spouse had been forced into marriage, and if the marriage involved incest, bigamy, or a spouse that was underage at the time of the wedding. Courts also allow annulments for cases where one or both spouses had not been in sound mental capacity during the wedding—like if they were impaired by alcohol or drugs. Marriages that have not been consummated can also be dissolved through annulment, especially if the other spouse had not been made aware of the other’s inability to have sexual intercourse.

Considering these scenarios, it’s easy to see that an annulment might not be the best choice for most couples looking to end their marriage. For others, divorce seems to be a more suitable and accessible option. You can contact a qualified divorce lawyer in your area to learn more about the best solution for your given situation.

Benefits of Marriage

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It has long been known that marriage is generally good for your health, but are the benefits of marriage the same for both men and women? Apparently not, as men and women may not experience the same or equal benefits of being in a marriage – men report having more satisfactory sex lives after getting married, while women’s risk of depression decreases after getting hitched, among other benefits. But with the increasing rates of divorce in the nation, is marriage the only way to get these types of benefits?

According to various researchers and studies made, such health benefits may not necessarily have to be exclusive to married couples: it may just simply be a matter of level of mutual attachment and social support. Whether married or not, the benefits of being in a relations can be enjoyed by both partners committed to each other in a long-term relationship. Nevertheless, being married or being in a long-term relationship still carries more weight than simply being single. One of the main health benefits that come with being married is having longer life span; it is a great way to lower the risks of fatal accidents and other preventable disasters. It also lowers risks of serious diseases, possibly due to positive influences on stress, vices, and weight. Another benefit is the physical intimacy – particularly in men – reporting of being more emotionally satisfied compared to those who are unmarried or does not have a partner. Married women, on the other hand, have lower risk of depression, as it reduces the danger of developing or intensifying mental health issues.

Meanwhile, both men and women benefit from financial stability during marriage. Money and financial issues is just among the main reason for divorce. According to the website of Marshal & Taylor PLLC, financial problems can greatly affect divorce proceedings as they can complicate the dividing of debts, assets and properties and cause tension between spouses. Such issues however, can be prevented through a pre-nuptial agreement before getting married.

Marriage is not just an easy decision to live with someone; the nature of marriage and long-term relationships as time changes have greatly impacted the health benefits of both partners, and with gender roles starting to dissolve both men and women may soon experience that same and equal benefits of marriage.

Even After Divorce It is Always Your Kids You Ought to Worry About

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Research shows that only a small percentage of children experience serious problems in the event of divorce; it does not, however, show how much fear, confusion and uncertainty these children actually suffer. Though parents suffer before and through the divorce process, it is really the children who carry the brunt of the separation.

A number of children would even think that they are the cause of conflict and separation, while other would take the responsibility of trying to bring their parents back together, even if it would mean sacrificing themselves. Obviously, divorcing parents always leave their children out of whatever issue or conflict they have with each other, so that by the time the children become aware of the situation, it is already too late.

Children always look to adults to help them make sense of the world. This is why when conflict and anger overtake the values they have been taught to live, they begin to misunderstand things (as well as get misunderstood) and rebel. From the very start, when parents begin to lose the love and respect that bind them together, parents ought to find how to tell their children what is happening, what their involvement is in the whole thing, how it might affect them and what will happen to them – all these are to prevent whatever misdirection the children may experience.

WebMD Magazine published an article on the “Top 5 Mistakes Divorced Parents Make”; these are actually pointers M. Gary Neuman, an expert on family and divorce, offers exes:

  • Never make your children your messenger – asking your children to relay your message to your ex-spouse would only certainly cause them further stress
  • Don’t make your child your therapist – making your child your cohort by sharing with him/her your anger towards your ex or the details of the divorce may only do more harm than damage.
  • Try to “get” your kid – never impose your thoughts or what you want on your kid. Divorce can turn a child’s world upside down; listen to him/her more but without telling him/her what to think.
  • Avoid the third degree – make your child’s weekend with your spouse a comfortable experience.
  • Repair the damage you’ve already done – saying ‘sorry’ to your kids (as they reach their teen years) for whatever mistake you’ve done that led to the divorce is important, as well as telling them that you are changed man and will never let mistakes get in the way again.

While these aren’t the only ways to help smooth over the process of divorce for your children, they are a good place to begin.

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