A report on Divorce and Annulment

"Just Divorced!" hand-written on an automobile's rear window.
Roman married couple.
Henry VIII of England broke with the Catholic Church in order to obtain an annulment.
Joséphine, first wife of Napoleon, obtained the civil dissolution of her marriage under the Napoleonic Code of 1804.
Marilyn Monroe signing divorce papers with celebrity attorney Jerry Giesler.

Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place (though some jurisdictions provide that the marriage is only void from the date of the annulment; for example, this is the case in section 12 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 in England and Wales).

- Annulment

Divorce is different from annulment, which declares the marriage null and void, with legal separation or de jure separation (a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a de facto separation while remaining legally married) or with de facto separation (a process where the spouses informally stop cohabiting).

- Divorce
"Just Divorced!" hand-written on an automobile's rear window.

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Culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses.

Culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses.

Swedish royal wedding clothes from 1766 at Livrustkammaren in Stockholm
Indonesian wedding
Nepali wedding
Islamic wedding
Ancient Sumerian depiction of the marriage of Inanna and Dumuzid
In an 1828 "Wife Wanted" advertisement, an Englishman claiming a "great taste for building" pledges to apply a prospective wife's dowry-like £1000+ to build property that will be "settled on her for life".
Family chart showing relatives who, in Islamic Sharia law, would be considered mahrim (or maharem): unmarriageable kin with whom sexual intercourse would be considered incestuous.
An arranged marriage between Louis XIV of France and Maria Theresa of Spain.
Criticism about the Azeri society tradition from domestic violence to the social and political participation of women in the community
Traditional, formal presentation of the bridewealth (also known as "sin sot") at an engagement ceremony in Thailand
Couple married in a Shinto ceremony in Takayama, Gifu prefecture.
A newly married Assyrian couple.
Various advocates of same-sex marriage, such as this protester at a demonstration in New York City against California Proposition 8, consider civil unions an inferior alternative to legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
"Esposas de Matrimonio" ("Wedding Cuffs"), a wedding ring sculpture expressing the criticism of marriages' effects on individual liberty. Esposas is a play on Spanish, in which the singular form of the word esposa refers to a spouse, and the plural refers to handcuffs.
Countries where married women are required by law to obey their husbands as of 2015.
Christ and the woman taken in adultery by Jan Brueghel the Elder, Pinakothek
Magdalene laundries were institutions that existed from the 18th to the late 20th centuries, throughout Europe and North America, where "fallen women", including unmarried mothers, were detained. Photo: Magdalene laundry in Ireland, ca. early 20th century.
Anti-dowry poster in Bangalore, India.
The Outcast, by Richard Redgrave, 1851. A patriarch casts his daughter and her illegitimate baby out of the family home.
Percentage of births to unmarried women, selected countries, 1980 and 2007.
A man and woman exchange rings
Crowning during Holy Matrimony in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church and a part of the Saint Thomas Christian community in India
Christian wedding in Kyoto, Japan
Russian orthodox wedding ceremony
A couple following their marriage in the Manti Utah Temple
Newlywed couples visit Timur's statues to receive wedding blessings in Uzbekistan.
A Muslim bride of Pakistan origin signing the nikkah nama or marriage certificate.
A Muslim couple being wed alongside the Tungabhadra River at Hampi, India.
A Jewish wedding, painting by Jozef Israëls, 1903
A Ketubah in Hebrew, a Jewish marriage-contract outlining the duties of each partner.
Hindu marriage ceremony from a Rajput wedding.
A Nepali Hindu couple in marriage ceremony.
Seuso and his wife
Woodcut. How Reymont and Melusina were betrothed / And by the bishop were blessed in their bed on their wedlock. From the Melusine, 15th century.
A marriage in 1960 in Italy. Photo by Paolo Monti.
Newlyweds after a civil ceremony in the tower of Stockholm City Hall in 2016
U.S States, by the date of repeal of anti-miscegenation laws:
No laws passed
Repealed before 1887
Repealed between 1948 and 1967
Overturned on 12 June 1967

Around the world, primarily in developed democracies, there has been a general trend towards ensuring equal rights for women within marriage (including abolishing coverture, liberalizing divorce laws, and reforming reproductive and sexual rights) and legally recognizing the marriages of interfaith, interracial, and same-sex couples.

Divorce and remarriage, while generally not encouraged, are regarded differently by each Christian denomination, with certain traditions, such as the Catholic Church, teaching the concept of an annulment.