In some circumstances there can be reasons to challenge the validity of a marriage. An annulment is essentially when the Court can declare a marriage legally invalid or one that has become invalid.
This can take the form of either:
- a void marriage which is illegal from the outset due to the situation and therefore the parties where never married.
- a voidable marriage which is valid but which can be dissolved due to a party’s actions.
A marriage can be annulled for any of the following reasons:
- the marriage hasn’t been ‘consummated’, either because one of you chooses not to or is not physically capable
- one party was already married at the time of your marriage
- either party didn’t or was unable to give valid consent to the marriage
- you or your spouse were under 16 at the time of the wedding
- you and your spouse are related
- your spouse had a communicable form of a sexually transmitted disease when you got married
- your spouse was pregnant with someone else’s child and you didn’t know about it
- you didn’t conform with the proper legal requirements – i.e. not filling in forms properly
Unlike a divorce, a petition for annulment also requires oral evidence being given in Court, but rest assured that we will guide you through and ensure you are prepared. Annulment is dealt with in much the same way as divorce with a few exceptions. One note worthy exception is that an annulment may be sought within 12 months of marriage whereas a divorce can only be issued after 12 months of marriage.
Once the annulment is finalised, it is as if the marriage had never taken place.
We can help you through this difficult process and deal with issues as they arise in a sympathetic, focused manner.
For more information or to discuss any concerns you may have in confidence, please call us on: 01923 234 400.