Annulment (sometimes known as ‘nullity’) is a different way of ending a marriage or civil partnership. Annulment of marriage or civil partnership is a decree (court order) by the family court that a marriage or civil partnership was not legally valid or had become legally invalid. Under English law an annulment of marriage or civil partnership may be granted by the family court if you can show that the marriage or civil partnership:

  • was never legally valid (‘void’)
  • was legally valid, but meets one of the reasons that makes it ‘voidable’

Contents Table

Specialist Annulment Solicitors
Grounds For Annulment Of Marriage Or Civil Partnership
Void Marriages & Civil Parternships
Voidable Marriages & Civil Partnerships
When Can You Annul A Marriage Or Civil Partnership?
How Long Does The Annulment Process Take?
Financial Settlement Upon Annulment
How Can We Help?
How Much We Charge?
How Much Is The Court Fee?
Need Help? Book An Appointment
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Specialist Annulment Solicitors

Our expert team of annulment solicitors in London are specialists in dealing with annulment of marriage or civil partnership in England & Wales. Our annulment solicitors have wealth of knowledge and experience of successfully handling nullity petitions for annulment of marriage or civil partnership.

Thinking of getting your marriage or civil partnership annulled and need legal help and assistance from annulment solicitors? Contact our specialist team of annulment solicitors in London, Manchester or Birmingham for fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee legal services for your annulment petition. Ask a question to our annulment solicitors for free advice online for annulment of marriage or civil partnership or submit an online request to schedule an appointment for detailed legal advice concerning your petition to annul your marriage or civil partnership.

What Are Grounds For Annulment of Marriage Or Civil Partnership

You’ll need to show that the marriage or civil partnership:

  • was never legally valid (‘void’)
  • was legally valid, but meets one of the reasons that makes it ‘voidable’

Void Marriages & Civil Partnerships (Marriage/Civil Partnership Not Being Legally Valid)

You can apply to annul a marriage or civil partnership if it was not legally valid in the first place, for example:

  • you’re closely related to the person you married or registered civil partnership with
  • one or both of you were under 16
  • one of you was already married or in a civil partnership

If a marriage or civil partnership was never legally valid, the law says that it never existed. However, you may need legal paperwork (a ‘decree of nullity’) to prove this - for example if you want to get married again or register your civil partnership again.

Voidable Marriages & Civil Partnerships

You can annul a marriage or civil partnership for a number of reasons, such as:

  • it was not consummated - you have not had sexual intercourse with the person you married since the wedding (does not apply for same sex couples)
  • you did not properly consent to the marriage or civil partnership - for example you were forced into it
  • the other person had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) when you got married or registered civil partnership
  • the woman was pregnant by another man when you got married
  • one spouse or civil partner is in the process of transitioning to a different gender

As with divorce or dissolution of civil partnership, your marriage or civil partnership legally exists until you annul it using one of these reasons. The rules on ending a civil partnership are slightly different, but the court forms are the same.

When Can You Annul A Marriage Or Civil Partnership?

For a family court in England & Wales to have jurisdiction to annul your marriage or civil partnership, you or your spouse or civil partner must have either:

  • lived in England or Wales for at least a year
  • had a permanent home in England or Wales for at least 6 months

Unlike divorce or dissolution of civil partnership, you can apply for annulment in the first year of your marriage/civil partnership or any time after. However, if you apply years after the marriage or civil partnership, you might be asked to explain the delay.

How Long Does The Annulment Process Take?

This varies from court to court and from case to case, depending on the complexity of the case. An annulment of marriage or civil partnership process can take up to 6 months. However, in complicated case, the process can take much longer than 6 months and time would vary depending on the complexity of the matter.

Financial Settlement Upon Annulment Of Marriage Or Civil Partnership

Financial settlement is an arrangement under which a couple’s assets and financial affairs are separated upon annulment of marriage or civil partnership. In England and Wales, the act of annulment of marriage/civil partnership itself doesn’t put an end to the financial relationship between you and your partner. An application for financial settlement is made to the family court by completing application form A.

Obtaining a financial settlement when you are annuling your marriage or civil partnership is important because outstanding financial claims may come back to disrupt your lives even years after your annulment has been finalised. This is because in England and Wales, even when your marriage or civil partnership is annulled, you still retain the ability to make financial claims against your ex and vice versa, and there’s no time limit for making these. This is why it’s crucial to put your financial affairs in order and have a binding court order stating what your financial arrangements with your ex husband or wife are.

How Can We Help With Annulment Of Marriage Or Civil Partnership?

Our specialist team of annulment solicitors is aware of the sensitivity in matters involving annulment of marriage or civil partnership and that every individual is in a different situation. To make your life easier, you can seek expert legal advice and representations from our specialist annulment solicitors at Sunrise Solicitors. Our expert team of annulment solicitors are highly trained and experienced in all aspects of annulment laws and court procedures and will guide and support you each throughout the court process to annul your marriage or civil partnership. We will cut through the legal jargon and ensure you understand exactly what’s happening at all times. Our team of experienced annulment solicitors will provide the required legal help and guidance with step by step procedure for getting annulment of your marriage or civil partnerhsip in the UK.

Our team of annulment solicitors will advise and assist to cater for your individuals needs. We will discuss the possible grounds on which you can apply for nullity of your marriage or civil partnership after gathering all the relevant factual information from you. Our annulment solicitors will explain to you the court procedures in very simple and clear terms and fully guide you through the procedures and carry out all the follow up work until the annulment order is issued by the family court.

How Much We Charge For Annulment Of Marriage Or Civil Partnership?

  • Our fixed fee for annulment of marriage or civil partnership ranges from £600 + VAT to £1,200 + VAT where the application for nullity is not contested by the Respondent (uncontested nullity of marriage or civil partnership);
  • If you instruct us on hourly rate, our expert team of annulment solicitors will charge on hourly rate basis with hourly rate from £120 + VAT to £200 + VAT per hour in relation to your annulment petition. The agreed hourly rate will be dependent on the complexity involved in your nullity petition.

How Much Is The Court Fee For Annulment Of Marriage Or Civil Partnership?

  • The court fee for filing annulment of marriage or civil partnership application in the family court is £550 which has to be paid at the time of filing for annulment. Petitioners with very low income may qualify for court fee exemption.

FAQs - Annulment Of Marriage/Civil Partnership UK

What is a void marriage or civil partnership?

Void marriage or civil partnership means it was never legally valid. You can annul a marriage or civil partnership if it was not legally valid in the first place, for example:

  • you’re closely related to the person you married or registered civil partnership with
  • one or both of you were under 16
  • one of you was already married or in a civil partnership

If a marriage or civil partnership was never legally valid, the law says that it never existed. However, you may need legal paperwork (a ‘decree of nullity’) to prove this - for example if you want to get married again or register your civil partnership again.

What is a voidable marriage or civil partnership?

A voidable marriage or civil partnership means a marriage or civil partnership which was legally valid, but meets one of the reasons that makes it ‘voidable’.

You can annul a voidable marriage or civil partnership for a number of reasons, such as:

  • it was not consummated - you have not had sexual intercourse with the person you married since the wedding (does not apply for same sex couples)
  • you did not properly consent to the marriage or civil partnership - for example you were forced into it
  • the other person had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) when you got married or registered civil partnership
  • the woman was pregnant by another man when you got married
  • one spouse or civil partner is in the process of transitioning to a different gender

How soon can I apply for annulment of my marriage or civil partnership?

You can apply for annulment of your marriage or civil partnership soon after your marriage or civil partnership. Unlike divorce or civil partneship dissolution, you do not have to wait for a year.

How can I apply for annulment of marriage or civil partnership?

You can apply for annulment of marriage or civil partnership by filling in a nullity petition. You should send 2 copies of the petition to your nearest family court and keep your own copy.

How much is the court fee for nullity petition?

Filing a nullity petition in family court in England & Wales costs £550.

Within how many days, the Respondent to the nullity petition is required to respond to the nullity petition?

The Respondent to the nullity petition must respond to your nullity petition within 8 days, saying whether they agree for the marriage or civil partnership to be be annulled.

When can I apply for decree nisi for annulment of my marriage or civil partnership?

Once the Respondent has responded to the nullity petition and has agreed to the marriage or civil partnership annulment, you can apply for a decree nisi. The decree nisi will confirm that the court does not see any reason why the marriage or civil partnership cannot be annulled.

What is a statement in support of nullity petition?

You must also fill in a statement confirming that what you said in your nullity petition is true.

Use one of the forms below, depending on whether your marriage is ‘void’ or ‘voidable’:

When can I apply for decree of nullity to annul my marriage or civil partnership?

You can apply for a decree of nullity (decree absolute) 6 weeks after you get the decree nisi.  A ‘decree of nullity’ is the final legal document which says that the marriage or civil partnership has been annulled.

To apply for a decree of nullity, you need to fill in the notice of application for decree nisi to be made absolute.

Do I need to go to court for annulment of my marriage or civil partnership?

In most cases, you do not need to go to family court for annulment of marriage or civil partnership and the court will deal with the matters on papers.

Divorce & Family Law News

No-fault divorce to start in autumn 2021

Couples seeking a no-fault divorce will have to wait until autumn 2021 even though proposed legislation removing fault from the divorce process has reached the finishing line of its parliamentary journey.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill concluded its passage through the House of Commons yesterday. It will return to the House of Lords to consider an amendment before receiving Royal assent. However, lord chancellor Robert Buckland told MPs that the bill’s reforms will not come into force on Royal assent ‘because time needs to be allowed for careful implementation’.
Buckland said: ‘At this early stage, we are working towards an indicative timetable of implementation in autumn 2021.’

However, family lawyers are delighted to see the bill reach the end of its parliamentary journey. The Law Society said ‘no-fault’ divorce will bring divorce law into the 21st century.
Jo Edwards, head of family at London firm Forsters, said: ‘Along with most family lawyers, and indeed the general public, I was thrilled to see the bill conclude its passage in parliament this week after 30 years of campaigning by Resolution and others and, in recent years, many false starts. Despite vocal last-minute attempts by some backbench MPs to derail the bill, we finally have the prospect of a more civilised, dignified divorce process fit for the 21st century.

‘The fact that couples will be able to petition for divorce jointly is a hugely important step symbolically and the introduction of a minimum overall timeframe shows that this is not the "quickie divorce" that some have suggested.  Because the detail of the rules around the new process, as well as court forms and the online portal, will need to be looked at in light of the new legislation, it is not likely that no-fault divorces will be a reality in England and Wales until late 2021 or even early 2022. For the 100,000 or so couples who divorce each year, they can't come a day too soon.’ READ MORE FROM SOURCE

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