How do I get my marriage annulled?

What is a marriage annulment?

Annulment is one of only two ways that someone can legally end a marriage. The other way is a divorce. An annulment is a declaration that the marriage is null and void, i.e. that it never happened. Most people go down the divorce route, but some people prefer to try annulment for religious reasons or to avoid the ‘stigma’ of getting divorced.

How long do I have to be married to get a marriage annulment?

The key difference between a divorce and an annulment is that to get divorced you have to be married for at least one year However, you can apply for an annulment at any time after the marriage takes place, as long as the technical requirements are met (see below).

Can I get a marriage annulment or do I have to get divorced?

You can apply for an annulment of marriage if one or more of the following criteria apply:

  • you are closely related to your spouse;
  • either or both of you were under 16 years old at the time of marriage;
  • at the time of marriage, either or both of you were already married or in a civil partnerhsip;;
  • the marriage has not been consummated. This ground for annulment cannot be used for same sex marriages;
  • either of you did not consent to the marriage – e.g., you were married whilst heavily under the influence of alcohol or were forced to marry your spouse under duress;
  • the other person had a sexually transmitted disease when you got married;
  • the woman was pregnant by another man when you got married

How do I get a marriage annulment?

A spouse that wishes to have their marriage annulled will need to prepare and send a nullity petition to the Court relying on one of the above grounds for annulment.

If the nullity petition is not contested by your spouse then you can apply for Decree Nisi. Six weeks and one day after Decree Nisi is granted, you can apply for Decree Absolute, which is the final decree of annulment.

The nullity petition can be deceptively easy and it is crucial to get advice on this document before submitting it to the Court.

Can I claim for money under annulment?

Yes you can. The courts consider claims for financial relief (ancillary relief) on an application for an annulment in the same way as they do on an application for divorce.

Talk to Us

Contact our specialist divorce solicitors in Leeds today to discuss your situation and to find out how we can help with your divorce. You can call us on 0113 244 6978 or click here to request a free consultation for free divorce advice.