The Difference Between Annulment And Divorce

Date: July 17th, 2017 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

clean-break-divorce

 

Under English law a marriage may be ended by either divorce or annulment. A declaration of annulment indicates that your marriage was invalid or had become invalid for some reason.

Following an annulment the law treats you as if your marriage never occurred. When you divorce however you are still considered to have been married.

Before applying for divorce you must wait for a specified period from the date of marriage. An annulment in contrast is possible at any time.

 

Why Get An Annulment?

For some there is still a stigma associated with divorce. If grounds for annulment exist those individuals may prefer an annulment rather than a divorce. For others there are religious considerations. For Roman Catholics, a declaration of annulment will not prevent them from getting married in church in the future. For divorced Catholics, remarriage in church is not possible.

 

What Are The Grounds For Annulment?

Grounds for annulment are different from the unreasonable behaviour and separation reasons for seeking a divorce. Instead you can seek an annulment because the marriage was not valid. For example:

  • You and your husband or wife are close relatives
  • One of you is under 16
  • One of you is already married

You can also apply for an annulment if the marriage is defective in some way. For example:

  • The marriage is not consummated
  • One of you did not legally consent to marry because you were forced to marry or for some other reason
  • One party to the marriage had a sexually transmitted disease and did not inform the other
  • If a female party to the marriage is pregnant with someone else’s child at the date of marriage and did not tell the other despite being aware of the pregnancy

 

What Is The Procedure For Annulment?

The procedure for annulment is similar to divorce. The person seeking an annulment files a nullity petition followed by an application for a decree nisi. A statement in support of annulment backs up the application. If the decree nisi (or decree of nullity) is granted you can apply for the decree absolute six weeks later.

 

Can I Seek A Financial Settlement As Part Of The Annulment?

Annulments are often sought a very short time after the marriage before property and financial rights build up. However when Mick Jagger successfully annulled his lengthy marriage to Jerry Hall on the grounds that the Bali-held wedding ceremony was not valid in the UK, it was reported that there was a multi-million pound settlement. So if there is property to divide, and you are unable to agree matters you can make a financial claim.

 

Share:

Google Reviews

Brookman Solicitors

42 Reviews

Chris Mullins 10/12/2018

Henry Brookman and team have been fantastic from initial point of contact. They were able to schedule me a 'free telephone consult' at short notice in order to fit with my travel plans. I have now received sound written legal advice from both UK and Overseas perspective which has given me great reassurance and peace of mind. I am now understanding of the legal journey I am to face and have confidence that his team will be able to support me!

Syeda Rizvi 09/11/2018

I can’t recommend Brookman solicitors enough. I met with Mr Aziz Malik from Brookman solicitors for a case that had an international dimension to it, and found him extremely competent, professional, reassuring and empathetic. Knowing that my case was time sensitive, Mr Aziz was quick to initiate the legal process, kept me updated on the case progress, responded very promptly to all my correspondence, gave very sincere legal advice and addressed all my concerns in a very patient and responsible fashion. He was very involved in the case, and I knew from the get go that my case was in safe hands. Throughout the process, the law firm also kept me posted on the costs of the services I was getting, hence making the process very convenient and transparent for me. The barrister they appointed to represent me at the hearing(s) was equally competent, knowledgeable and articulate. Thanks to Brookman solicitors, the outcome of my case was exactly what I had wished for, and I am beyond delighted. I am extremely grateful to them for their services. Please keep up the good work!

Nir Ozer 07/11/2018

Henry Brookman was very honest and helpful with the professional quick legal service. It's wonderful to know you get a proper advice when needed. I definitely recommend this law firm.

Chris Saunders 26/10/2018

I engaged Brookman Solicitor's on a particularly complex topic related to international divorce. Henry and his team provided excellent support and his expertise was a critical factor in a successful outcome. I would not hesitate in working with this firm again, or recommending them to others.

Petra LP 25/10/2018

Replied to my query very quickly and was very helpful and understanding.