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What is the criteria to meet in order to apply for Annulment in the UK?

To apply for annulment in the UK, it is vital to meet the following residency criteria:

  • You must be living in Wales or England for at least a year
  • England or Wales is your permanent home (attach a domicile) for at least 6-months or so

Remember: Unlike getting a divorce, you can apply for annulment during the first year or any time after getting married. Nevertheless, you must state the prove of delay if you’d happened to apply after years.
For further information on applying for annulment of marriage and when you qualify, speak to one of our highly dedicated specialist Family law solicitors. So reach out immediately through a call at 0800 048 7573 or feel free to drop an email at

What do I need to know about Void and Voidable Marriages?

Your marriage is considered legally invalid or ‘void’ on the following grounds if :

  • You are married to someone closely related in your family ancestry- consanguinity (incestual marriage)
  • One of the partners was under 16 at the time of marriage -child marriage
  • One of you was already married or in a civil partnership-bigamy
  • Fraud, drug abuse, mistreatment

Hence, under the aforestated grounds, you can apply for the annulment to have your marriage legally invalid. If you want to get remarried, it is essential to proceed through legal paperwork ( a.ka. Decree of nullity). Accordingly, you can then declare your marriage as legally invalid as if it never happened in the first place.

Your marriage is considered ‘voidable’ for the following reasons:

  • You were never agreed to enter a marital relation unless coerced into a marriage (Forced marriage)
  • Your marriage was never consummated
  • Your partner had a sexually transmitted disease at the time of your marriage
  • When you got married, your partner got conceived by someone else (through a polygamy/group marriage, etc.)
  • One of the partners is applying for the transition to another gender

Hence, as in the case of a divorce, your marriage can be annulled under the above grounds. Nevertheless, the legal procedure for ending your civil partnership would slightly vary. You are more likely the qualify for a divorce than an annulment, for the latter is difficult to obtain.

How to apply for Annulment of Marriage in the UK?

Steps to annul your marriage

As mentioned earlier, unlike divorce, you don’t have to wait longer or for at least a year or two to end your marriage/civil partnership.
Be sure to proceed to the following steps carefully:

  • Fill in a ‘nullity petition’ form: D89 wholly and correctly ( be sure to read the supporting notes to apply for annulment carefully)
  • Attach two sealed copies ( If you are attaching any order of the High Court, county court, or family court to your application/petition, etc.), send them to the divorce court nearby, and keep the original copies with you
  • Attach certified documents of marriage/civil partnership certification (if you are attaching an order of the Family Proceedings Court/magistrates’ court)
  • Pay the nullity petition charges of £550 ( if you are low on income, you can get help with court charges)

Remember: While the court may offer assistance for procedural matters, you can’t seek legal advice through a court unless you instruct a specialist family lawyer for further guidance on annulment.

What is a Decree Nisi, and when can I apply?

When to apply for decree nisi:

Before applying for the decree nisi, your other partner has to duly agree by responding to a ‘nullity petition’ latest by day-8 of applying to an annulment of marriage. After the agreement, you can apply for the next step called a ‘decree nisi’ to further lay all the possible reasons a court can consider while proceeding towards an annulment.

Be sure to do the following procedures carefully:

  • Fill in the application form for decree nisi
  • Provide either (whichever is applicable in your situation)
  • The statement in support of annulment – void marriage or,
  • The statement in support of annulment – voidable marriage

Please note that the provision of these statements will confirm the nullity petition is valid on all the concrete grounds to dissolve your marriage/civil partnership by annulment.

When can I apply for the Decree Absolute?

Applying for the decree absolute on annulment of marriage:

Once you have succeeded with the decree nisi procedure, you can apply for the decree absolute within six weeks. Thus, this is the final step ( at this stage, it is referred to as a ‘decree of nullity) leading to a legal annulment. Be sure to fill in the notice of application for decree nisi to be absolute.

Court decision to annul your marriage

The court will decide by carefully assessing the following basis:

  • In case of any doubts, the court may object if there is no solid grounds to annul the marriage in the first place
  • If the court is satisfied with the provided proof/ statements in support of the annulment, your marriage will be legally annulled ( you will receive a decree of nullity from the court)
  • If your marriage was considered as legally invalid or ‘void’ marriage, the decree would confirm your marriage was never legal

Do I have to explain why I want an Annulment of Arriage?

For a successful court approval on your marriage annulment, you must demonstrate the following reasons:

To prove that your marriage/civil partnership was either void or voidable, you must explain either of the following situations.

  • Same-sex marriages, which are legally recognised as overseas relationships
  • Polygamous marriage ( this reason is only applicable and considerable if both the parties are married to each other)
  • Non- consummated marriage ( not applicable to the partners of same-sex)
  • No valid consent to a marriage because it was enforced
  • Re-marrying
  • Mental or physical ailment ( you qualify to apply for annulment if you are intermittently suffering from a disorder that could restrict your obligations as a spouse
  • One of the spouses is suffering from a sexually transmitted disease such as Venereal disease. If you were unaware at the time of marriage, you qualify to annul your marriage
  • Another person conceives your partner at the time of marriage or civil partnership
  • Interim Gender Recognition certificate acquired by one of the partners