Annulment is agreed by both parties that it really should not be considered a marriage from it's inception, where as in the case of a divorce the law recognizes the length of time the couple was married and that the divorce began when the marraige was finalized. I believe there is also a time statute as to when you can annul a marriage.
The grounds for annulment include bigamy, forced consent to the marriage, fraud (misrepresentation), if it is prohibited by law (like siblings), mental illness, mental incapacity ( being under the influence of drugs or alcohol), underage marriage or inability to consummate the marriage. An annulment basically means that the marriage never existed and is wiped away. It can be instituted by either the husband or the wife, who msut provide evidence for their claims.
An annulment of a marriage is recognized by many judicatories as a legal writ that that says “This marriage was flawed and therefore never happened.” While it is extremely difficult to receive a marriage annulment, some individuals seek an annulment when they feel that they have been defrauded by a former partner. Further, some religious institutions provide annulments to partners who have been married with in their churches. Religious annulments tend to be very expensive and time consuming and are recognized by governments.
Yes, JoshKim is correct. An annulment is a legal procedure granted by a court or church that legally ends the marriage. It is different from a divorce in the sense that an annulment will basically erase the legal record of the marriage having taken place at all. There are different requirements to get a marriage annulled by a court or a church.