A sad fact of life is that not all marriages last forever. If you believe your relationship simply cannot be saved, you should certainly ask us for access to top-class advice on divorce.

But what if your marriage is collapsing beyond repair almost immediately after the wedding? What if you’re quickly realising, without any doubt, you should never have married in the first place? In these distressing circumstances, divorce is not an option for you, as you can only divorce if you have been married at least a year. You need to look instead at annulment. Through a nullity petition and the awarding of a decree of nullity, a marriage can be annulled at any time.

Clearly, no one should enter or exit a marriage lightly. You must give a good reason for wishing to annul your marriage – that your marriage was never legally valid in the first place, which is known as a ‘void’ marriage, or that your marriage is inherently defective, known as a ‘voidable’ marriage. Let’s take a look at these two options:

  1. A ‘void’ marriage: a marriage might be ‘void’, for example, because you and your spouse are closely related; because one of you was under the age of 16 at the time of the wedding; or because one of you was already married or in a civil partnership at the time of the wedding. If ‘void’, your marriage never legally existed, although you might need paperwork proving the annulment took place should you wish to marry in the future.
  2. A ‘voidable’ marriage: the reasons your marriage might be ‘voidable’ include the fact you have never consummated the relationship (meaning you have not had sex with your spouse since the wedding), although you might want to note this reason for annulling a marriage does not apply for same-sex couples; the fact you did not properly consent to the marriage (for example, if you were drunk at the time of the wedding, were suffering mental health problems and so did not understand the situation, or were forced to marry); the fact your spouse had a sexually transmitted disease when you married; and the fact your wife was pregnant by another man at the time of the wedding.

You need to pay £550 to file a nullity petition form at present (April 2019). If money is a concern for you, you might be able to receive state financial support to help pay your court fees.

If you feel you may need to annul your marriage, you’re also likely to be feeling emotional, stressed and confused. What you need is access to sympathetic, objective and excellent legal support. Call us now at Deborah Wilkinson & Co. to find out how we can help you.