Can I annul my same-sex marriage rather than getting a divorce?
Whether or not you can annul your same-sex marriage rather than getting a divorce depends upon the facts of your unique situation. The difference between a divorce and an annulment is in a divorce, the court is saying you had a legal marriage and now the court is ending it and you are single again. Whereas with an annulment, the court is saying we have gone back to the date of the marriage and we’ve determined that there was something that went wrong there. Either there was a lack of consent or bigamy or there was fraud of some sort or several other different reason, and so the court will say that the marriage was what’s called void ab initio, or void from the beginning and there never was a marriage. The difference is, practically speaking, through a divorce, you get custody rights, you have equitable distribution, division of assets and debts of the marriage, you may have a claim to the house, you may have a claim to your spouse’s 401k, but with an annulment, you’re going back to square one where you are two unmarried people and you do not have those rights.