A Guide to Getting an Annulment

a couple signing papers

No couple wants to face the uncomfortable truth of their marriage coming to an end. Even if they remain friendly, the process of separating up shared belongings and assets is an emotional one.

Many spouses believe that divorce is their only option if they want to get a legally valid separation. However, this isn’t always the case. It may instead be possible to obtain an annulment and it’s wise to consult a divorce solicitor in London, such as Saracens Solicitors, to find out what the options are.

What’s an annulment?

There are two reasons the court will grant an annulment:

  • The marriage was never valid (void)
  • The marriage was valid up until the point that the annulment was granted (voidable).

If a couple wants to go down the route of declaring their marriage was never valid, they have to prove one of the following:

  • They are closely related
  • One or both parties were under 16 when the marriage took place
  • One or both parties were already either married or in a civil partnership when entering into this marriage.

To get a voidable annulment, one of the following must be shown. One spouse:

  • Has been incapable of consummating the marriage
  • Has been unwilling to consummate the marriage
  • Didn’t consent to the marriage
  • Had a sexually transmitted disease at the time of the wedding
  • The wife was pregnant by another man at the time of the marriage.

As far as the process goes, it’s similar to a divorce in that the court has to be petitioned by one party. Both parties will need to attend court to give evidence for the annulment to be granted. A financial settlement can also be negotiated by a divorce solicitor in London.

It may be preferable to seek an annulment from a divorce solicitor in London due to religious or cultural reasons, or someone may not wish to be known as a divorcee for other reasons. The benefit of an annulment is that both parties are returned to the legal status they had before marriage and don’t ever need to declare that they have been married.