Nullity Annulment

An annulment, ‘nullity’ or judicial separation is a court decree (or declaration) that a marriage or a civil partnership has become invalid for some reason or was never valid in the first place.

The Grounds for Annulment 

In the UK, an annulment can be granted for a host of different reasons, including if you never had sexual intercourse with the person you married (not in same-sex situations), if you were forced into the marriage, if one of the partners had a mental disorder, or if one party was pregnant by someone else. In these cases, the marriage or partnership was valid at the start but became ‘voidable.’ A marriage or civil partnership could be declared invalid if you are too closely related to the person you married or if you should find out that your spouse is already in a civil partnership or married to someone else.

It may seem as if the grounds for an annulment is straightforward, but it is not. You will need to discuss your situation in detail with a Robertsons Family Law professional solicitor specialising in this area of the law.   

Our annulment experts can tell you whether there are grounds for your relationship to be nullified, what the process entails and give you practical advice in your particular situation.   

In some cases, there is a time limit within which to commence nullity proceedings.  What should you do about the family home or the division of assets? It is questions such as these that we can assist you with. 

It is important to remember that your marriage or civil partnership legally exists until the court nullifies it. You need the paperwork (a ‘decree of nullity’) to prove that it came to an end to be able to marry or register a civil partnership again.

At Robertsons Family Law, we know that an annulment can be very sensitive. However, nobody should judge you for the situation you are in.  We won’t, and in fact we are here to make your life easier.  

Why not seek expert legal advice from our annulment specialists at Robertsons Family Law? Our team is experienced in all annulment areas and the corresponding court procedures.  With us, you’ll know what is happening at all times. In addition, you’ll find us friendly, approachable, and knowledgeable.

FAQs on Annulments

Is there an expiry date on annulment?

Yes, the courts expect that the application for an annulment will happen within a reasonable time. On some occasions, the court set down timescales within which such an application needs to be made. It is important to seek advice at the earliest opportunity.

Would I need to go to court?

Not necessarily. If the annulment application is not defended, it can be dealt with administratively by the court.

Can I get financial provision as I am getting an annulment?

Yes, if a decree of nullity is issued, the parties can use the court’s powers to grant them financial clarity, just like in a divorce or civil dissolution. It is vital that you make use of the legal advice that Robertsons Family Law can give you when you need to make a financial claim against your partner. View our page on financial settlements.

How long will an annulment take?

If the case is uncontested and both parties agree to the annulment, the process can take three to six months.

What is the difference between an annulment and a divorce?

You can’t get divorced before one year of marriage has expired in the UK, whereas you can make an annulment request any time after the marriage or civil partnership. 

Unlike a divorce, you do not need to state that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. You only need to prove that the marriage or partnership was never legally valid or that it became void.

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