Marriage As A Legal Entity
A marriage is more than a relationship between two people. The personal connection of the people involved is the foundation (and most important part) of a marriage, but beyond that, marriage is a legal arrangement. It is a legal contract between two people who have agreed to share their lives together. As such, there are specific procedures that must be followed when a marriage is formed, and similarly specific procedures that must be followed when a marriage is ended. Today, our family law firm in Osage Beach MO is here to examine two ways that marriages may end: divorce and annulment.
With nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce, this is by far the most common means by which marriages end. Divorce is the official, legal dissolution of a marriage. It acknowledges the relationship and the life that the couple shared, and aims to ensure that each spouse is provided for as they define their lives as separate individuals once again. The court will strive to divide all marital assets as equitably as possible. Depending on the financial situation of each spouse and the specific circumstances surrounding their marriage/divorce, the court may order a higher-earning spouse to provide financial support to the lower-earning spouse in the form of spousal maintenance (also called alimony).
If there are children involved, the court will divide custody in the manner it deems to be in the child's best interests. While each parent will understandably have strong feelings about the custody agreement, the court will focus almost exclusively on the children's needs. The goal is to form the custody order they believe will best provide for these needs.
Like divorce, annulment is another way that a marriage may end. However, an annulment is a very different process from a divorce. Whereas a divorce acknowledges the dissolution of a marital union, an annulment erases a marriage so completely that legally, it is considered to never have even existed.
Because they completely wipe the slate clean, annulments are only allowed under very select circumstances. Specifically, the marriage must have been considered legally void due to some invalidating factor, such as coercion, incest, misrepresentation, concealment, or lack of consent. Only marriages formed under these certain invalid circumstances may qualify for an annulment.
Our Family Attorney Is Here To Help
If you are facing the possibility of dissolving your marriage, we hope you'll consider contacting our Lake of the Ozarks law firm for assistance. Our team will be here to help you prepare for the challenges of ending a marriage, and we would be happy to answer your questions on the legalities of divorce or annulments. For more information about our Missouri family law services, visit our website at www.RGibbonsLawFirm.com. You can also call us directly at 573-348-2211.
Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.
Your Trusted Legal Resource
Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.