TN 29 (05-01)
GN 00305.120 How Marriage Terminates
Act-Sec. 216(h)(1), Regulations No. 4-Secs. 404.344, 404.345, 404.728
A. Policy -- general
A marriage can be terminated by divorce, annulment, or by the death of either spouse.
B. Policy -- divorce
A final divorce is one which irrevocably ends the marriage relationship. In some jurisdictions, this type of divorce is known as a "divorce a vinculo matrimonii," or a divorce from the bonds of matrimony. Apply State law to determine whether a divorce is final. (See GN 00305.165.)
C. Policy -- annulment
A decree of annulment may:
constitute a judicial declaration that a purported marriage was always void (see GN 00305.125) - a nullity that never existed (some States hold that if a marriage is void, an annulment decree is unnecessary);
terminate a voidable marriage (see GN 00305.130); or
terminate a valid marriage (This is usually called a divorce. See SSR 69-1, C.B. 1966-1970,p. 7.).