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

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

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

You’ll need to show that the marriage:

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

Void Marriages (Marriage Not Being Legally Valid)

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

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

If a marriage 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

You can annul a marriage 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 - for example you were forced into it
  • the other person had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) when you got married
  • the woman was pregnant by another man when you got married
  • one spouse is in the process of transitioning to a different gender

As with divorce, your marriage legally exists until you annul it using one of these reasons.

When Can You Annul A Marriage?

For a family court in England & Wales to have jurisdiction to annul your marriage, you or your spouse 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, you can apply for annulment in the first year of your marriage or any time after. However, if you apply years after the marriage, 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 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

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 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?

Our specialist team of annulment solicitors is aware of the sensitivity in matters involving annulment of marriage 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. 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.

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 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?

  • Our fixed fee for annulment of marriage ranges from £700 + VAT to £1,200 + VAT where the application for nullity is not contested by the Respondent (uncontested nullity of marriage);
  • If you instruct us on hourly rate, our expert team of annulment solicitors will charge on hourly rate basis with hourly rate from £150 + VAT to £250 + 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?

  • The court fee for filing annulment of marriage 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

What is a void marriage?

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

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

If a marriage 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?

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

You can annul a voidable marriage 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
  • you did not properly consent to the marriage - for example you were forced into it
  • the other person had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) when you got married
  • the woman was pregnant by another man when you got married
  • one spouse is in the process of transitioning to a different gender
How soon can I apply for annulment of my marriage?

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

How can I apply for annulment of marriage?

You can apply for annulment of marriage 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 to be be annulled.

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

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

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 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?

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