ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE
The meaning of an annulment is that the law treats you as if you never got married to your wife or husband. Whereas, divorce means that the law treats you as having been legally married to your spouse until such a time till when the court agrees to end your marriage.
Making an annulment of marriage application to the court is very similar to divorce application but there are some very essential differences between annulment and divorce. One of the fine differences is mentioned above, i.e. the definition of annulment and divorce.
Another difference is that you can ask for annulment of marriage at any stage as long as you meet the particular circumstances but if you don’t then you can never ask for annulment of your marriage. Whereas, you can only ask for divorce if you have been married for at least one year. However, in practise it is much easier to show that you are entitled to divorce than an annulment.
You can only ask for annulment of your marriage if your marriage was never legally valid or if it was valid but it was legally defective.
In the following circumstances a marriage will never have been legally valid, if:
- You and your spouse have the same gender;;
- Your are closely related to your spouse by way of blood or by way of marriage;
- You or your spouse were under the age of 16 at the date of marriage or if either of you were already married or in a civil partnership at date of your marriage.
In the following circumstances your marriage would have been valid but legally defective, if;
- Either you or your spouse did not properly consent to the marriage, i.e, one of you were forced in to the marriage;
- Either of you had gone through a gender reassignment;
- Your wife was pregnant by someone else when you got married to each other;
- Either of you were suffering from a sexually transmitted disease at the date of your marriage;
- Either of you were suffering from mental illness, which meant that the person suffering from such a illness was not fit for marriage;
- Either of you did not have sex with each other since you got married due to one of you being incapable of having sex or one of you refusing to have sex with the other spouse.
Please note if you make an annulment application to court on the basis of legally defective marriage then you must do so within a certain time as otherwise the court can refuse it. It is therefore very essential that you take proper legal advice and assistance sooner rather than later if you’re planning to ask for an annulment. Annulment of marriage is a rather complex and rare area of law. However, we at Sabeers Stone Greene LLP are there to help and assist you on each and every step of the way by making this stressful and emotional period as less stressful as possible by simplify things for you.