Family Law

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Like a divorce, the purpose of an Annulment is to end a marriage. However, Annulments are only an option in specific cases. An Annulment can occur at any time after the marriage as there is no minimum time period before an application can be submitted.

Our solicitors are able to advise you on whether or not an Annulment would be an option for you. Moreover, like in a divorce, along with an Annulment you can also apply for an order relating to children or finances.

Frequently asked questions

An Annulment is a declaration that a marriage or a civil partnership was never in fact legally valid or that it became invalid. It is capable of erasing a marriage as though it never existed.

Unlike a divorce or a dissolution, where there is a one-year minimum waiting period before proceedings can commence, a marriage or civil partnership can be annulled at any time. Nevertheless, you might be required to provide an explanation if an Annulment is applied for years after the ceremony.

To annul a marriage or partnership, spouses must satisfy the court that it has jurisdiction to deal with the matter at hand. That would mean that at least one of the parties should live in England and Wales.

The terms of Annulment for heterosexual and same-sex relationships also vary slightly. While heterosexual relationships can be annulled on the basis of incapacity of either party to consummate the marriage, this is not the case with same-sex relationships.

There are two types of Annulment – one for void marriages and one for voidable marriages.

‘Void’ means that your marriage was never legally allowed from the beginning and after the Annulment, it is as if it had never taken place. Reasons for void marriages include:

  • The parties being related to one another more closely than allowed by law
  • One of the parties being underage
  • One of the parties already being in a marriage or a civil partnership

‘Voidable’ means that your marriage includes some kind of defect in the eyes of the law. Some examples for this are:

  • The marriage was never consummated (i.e. you did not have sex after the marriage took place)
  • There was no proper consent to marry (i.e. you were forced into it or were drunk)
  • One of you had a sexually transmitted disease or was pregnant by someone else at the time you got married

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