An annulment is a legal procedure that declares a marriage null and void as if it never happened. Unlike a divorce, which ends a valid marriage, an annulment establishes that the marriage was legally invalid from the beginning. In the UK, annulments are granted based on specific grounds. This blog will provide an overview of the marriage annulment process and explain how our family law solicitors can help you navigate through the process.
When Can You Annul a Marriage in the UK?
An annulment can be sought for the following reasons:
- Marriage was Never Legally Valid (‘Void’):
You can annul a marriage if it was not legally valid from the beginning. This could be due to reasons such as:
- Being closely related to the person you married
- One or both of you being under 18 (or under 16 before February 27, 2023),
- One of you already being married or in a civil partnership
If a marriage was never legally valid, it is considered to have never existed. However, you might need legal paperwork, like a ‘decree of nullity’ or ‘nullity of marriage order,’ to prove this, especially if you intend to marry again.
- Marriage is ‘Voidable’:
An annulment of your marriage is possible for several reasons, including:
- If the marriage was not consummated (excluding same-sex couples)
- If you did not genuinely consent to the marriage (e.g., due to force)
- If one party had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) at the time of marriage
- If your spouse was pregnant by someone else when you married,
- If one spouse is in the process of transitioning to a different gender.
Similar to divorce, your marriage remains legally valid until you annul it using one of these grounds. However, unlike divorce, there is no requirement to have been married for a minimum amount of time before applying. The rules for ending a civil partnership differ slightly, but the court forms are the same. You can view the full printable gov.uk guide on marriage annulment for more information.
Legal Processes for Annulment
The process to annul a marriage can be complex, and discussing your circumstances with a family law solicitor who understands this area of law is important. Our dedicated team of family law solicitors can guide you through the legal process of marriage annulment. We can help you with:
- Consultation and assessment: We will assess the eligibility for annulment based on the specific circumstances of your marriage.
- Filing the application: Our marriage annulment solicitors will assist you in completing the required forms and gathering the necessary documentation to file an annulment application.
- Court proceedings: If your case proceeds to court, our solicitors will represent you, presenting the evidence necessary to support your annulment claim.
- Finalising the annulment: Once the court grants the annulment, we can assist you with any necessary steps to implement the decision, such as updating legal documents.
Practical Issues to Be Resolved When Annulling Your Marriage
Our family law solicitors understand that, alongside the legal process of annulling your marriage, practical issues need attention. We can guide you through the process of resolving the following matters:
- Division of finances: Our solicitors can help you navigate the financial aspects of marriage annulment, including the division of assets, debts, and property acquired during the marriage.
- Family home: If you and your spouse share a family home, our solicitors can guide you through the process of determining ownership, occupancy rights, and any necessary sales or transfers.
- Child arrangements: We recognise the importance of ensuring the best interests of any children involved. Our solicitors can help with all child law matters, including child arrangements, parental responsibility, visitation, and financial support.
Family Law Solicitors Kingston
The legal proceedings of ending a marriage or civil partnership can be overwhelming, particularly considering the impact on finances and children. At Rose & Rose, our knowledgeable solicitors specialise in all aspects of family law. We provide legal guidance on divorce and relationship breakdown, financial settlements in divorce, dissolution of civil partnership, issues concerning children, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and foreign nationality family law.
For further advice on divorce and other aspects of family law, please get in touch with our Family Law team today by calling 0330 0250 176, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or clicking on a member of our team below.
This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our team of solicitors.