A declaration of invalidity of marriage is a cause of action that allows for an individual to obtain a ruling that a valid marriage never actually took place due to a defect that existed at the time of the marriage, thus making the marriage not legally valid. An example of a defect would be a marriage between siblings. Whereas a dissolution of marriage is to bring a valid marriage to an end for legal reasons that arise after the marriage is entered into.
Which should you choose when they are both available? Well, there can be pros and cons to both choices. If a dissolution is sought, maintenance may also be awarded. Also, there can be a determination of property rights during the property distribution. Also, child custody rights and visitation rights will be established during the dissolution.
A declaration of invalidity of a marriage will allow an individual to enter a new marriage without the possible stigma of being divorced. An individual may be able to receive maintenance payments that were awarded during a previous marriage and were stopped upon the remarriage. Also, an individual may be able to revive their social security benefits of the marriage is declared invalid.
There may also be different tax consequences which arise depending on if you decide to declare your marriage invalid or file for a dissolution of marriage. You should consult an attorney who can help you make the best decision for your future. Contact Sheina Franco at the Law Office of Keith Short if you are unsure on how to proceed in your divorce. 618.254.0055.