Divorce v. Annulment v. Separate Maintenance: The Differences Explained

Are you considering leaving your spouse, but not sure what the right option is for you? Many people do not realize that separation, called “separate maintenance” in Kansas, is an option. Likewise, many people incorrectly believe that the difference between divorce and annulment is based on the length of the marriage. Deciding whether to end a marriage is a very difficult decision and you should be aware of all of your options when making this decision.

In Kansas, the grounds for divorce and separate maintenance are the same: 1) incompatibility, 2) failure to perform a material marital duty or obligation, or 3) incompatibility by reason of mental illness or mental incapacity. The difference between a divorce and separate maintenance is that you are still married after a Decree of Separate Maintenance is granted. The majority of cases are filed based on the grounds of incompatibility, even when other grounds exist. This is because no evidence is necessary to prove that incompatibility exists, and having to prove the reasons for your divorce can make the process more painful and contentious.

In 2015, the majority of annulments in Kansas were filed by couples who were married less than one year. However, due to the legal definition of annulment, this is likely due to learning something new about their new spouse, rather than due to the length of the marriage. Similarly, the divorce rate in 2015 was highest among couples who had been married for one to four years.

Contrary to popular misconception, the length of time that you have been married has nothing to do with whether your marriage can be annulled. The grounds for annulment include the marriage is void, or that the marriage is voidable because it was induced by fraud, mistake of fact, or lack of knowledge of a material fact. Examples of void and voidable marriages occur when one person was still married to someone else when the marriage occurred, or when a spouse is a minor child or not mentally competent to consent to the marriage.

If you are considering these options, please contact Cameron & Herrman, P.A. at (316) 265-0650. Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys can help you to choose the option that is right for you. We will not try to “sell” you a divorce or try to convince you to end your marriage. We will make sure that you are aware of your options, and help you through the process if you choose to retain our services.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial