Annul a marriage

As with divorce, an annulment is a means to end a marriage – however, unlike divorce, you don't have to wait a year and can annul a marriage any time after the wedding.

In order to annul a marriage, you either need to prove that the marriage was not valid in the first place, or that is has become substantially flawed or defective.

Reasons a marriage is considered invalid or 'void' can include:

  • One or both parties are under 16
  • You discover that you and your partner are closely related
  • One party was already married or in a civil partnership at the time of the wedding

Reasons a marriage may have become substantially flawed may include:

  • The marriage wasn't consummated, (although this doesn't apply to same sex couples)
  • One or both parties did not consent to the marriage or was forced into it
  • One party had a sexually transmitted disease at the time of the wedding
  • The woman was pregnant by another man at the time of the wedding

How do I get an annulment

If you want to annul a marriage, you must first fill in a nullity petition which your solicitor can help you with. You then need to send two copies of this to your nearest divorce court and pay the £550 fee.

Once you have done this, the other party has 8 days to respond to your nullity petition, to let the court know whether or not they agree that the marriage should be annulled. If they agree, you can then fill in an application for a 'decree nisi' and a statement in support of annulment, which confirms that what you said in your nullity petition is true. Again, your solicitor will be able to help you with this.

Finally, 6 weeks after you get your decree nisi, you can apply for a decree absolute, which is the final legal document stating that the marriage has been legally annulled.

Should I apply for an annulment?

If you are considering an annulment, it is advised that you speak to a solicitor to discuss your options.

At Forbes, we understand how distressing the breakdown of a relationship can be and our expert team of family solicitors are here to help, as well as advise on any financial support issues or the options available to you in relation to any children of the relationship. To speak to our team about any aspects of an annulment, contact Forbes today on 0800 689 1058

11 Jan 2019



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