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Annulment is a court declaration that determines a marriage was not legally valid or has since become invalid for a specified legal reason. In England and Wales, there are a number of reasons why a marriage can be annulled, such as if it hasn’t been consummated, one party was already married, or there was a lack of consent.
At Devonalds, our family law solicitors can support you in relation to all aspects of annulment, advising you on whether your marriage is eligible for an annulment, guiding you through the process step-by-step and addressing any other related issues, such as finances, children and property. We have substantial experience in supporting clients across Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taff with annulments.
Why choose Devonalds?
Legal expertise from solicitors at the heart of your local community
Our annulment experts in Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taff are proud to be active members of their local community. When you work with us, you will find us friendly and approachable, as well as being supportive of local initiatives and businesses. Many of our firm are from the area, and the whole team are committed to providing the best possible service to our clients.
We are well known for establishing long-lasting relationships with clients and strive to live up to our reputation as trusted legal advisers to the people of Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend.
Advice and guidance from family lawyers with decades of experience
Our annulment solicitors in Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taff have been advising people on annulments, and various other family law issues, for over 30 years. Not only does our team provide sound legal guidance, but they also offer careful understanding and support.
If you speak to a member of our team, you can be sure that your case will be in experienced hands and that we will always do our utmost to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Fast and efficient representation
We understand how difficult it can be to deal with the uncertainty of annulment. If you enlist our team to support you, we will always work to resolve any issues quickly and proactively. We will always keep you updated on the progress of your case and respond to your calls so that you can discuss any issues that arise.
We aim to provide outstanding legal advice to as many people as possible. As such, our fees are competitive and accessible. We always ensure that you have a clear idea of the likely cost of representation from the start of proceedings.
Resolution without conflict
Wherever possible, we focus on resolving matters related to annulment without any unnecessary conflict. Our team have excellent negotiation skills and are regularly able to reach an agreement without the need for litigation.
How our annulment solicitors can help you
Assessing whether there are grounds for annulment
To receive an annulment, you need to be able to show that your marriage or civil partnership can be declared as ‘void’ or ‘voidable’.
There are a number of reasons why a marriage could be considered void. These are:
- You or your spouse were already married at the time of the marriage or civil partnership.
- You and your spouse are closely related.
- You or your spouse were under 16 years old when you got married or entered a civil partnership.
The reasons why a marriage could become voidable include:
- If the marriage has never been consummated (you and your spouse have not had sexual intercourse since the wedding took place). This is currently only available for opposite-sex couples.
- You did not provide consent to the marriage or civil partnership.
- Your spouse was pregnant with another person’s child when you got married
- Your spouse had a sexually transmitted disease when you got married
- Your spouse is transitioning to a different gender
These are otherwise referred to as ‘grounds for annulment’.
We understand that knowing how to annul a marriage can be difficult. Our marriage annulment solicitors can work alongside you to carefully assess your personal situation and whether any of the above grounds are applicable. We can use this as a basis for getting the annulment process underway, where we can then take you through the steps that need to be taken.
Guiding you through the annulment process
If, after meeting with our team, you will likely be eligible to apply for a marriage annulment, we can then guide you through the process.
To get an annulment, you will first need to make an application to a divorce court. This works by completing an application with various supporting documents and evidence (where necessary).
Following this, your spouse has 8 days to respond to said application. If the other party agrees, you can then apply for a Conditional Order, which will be reviewed by the courts.
We will be by your side for every stage of the annulment process, ensuring that no detail is left untouched and that you understand exactly what to expect at every juncture.
Resolving practical issues associated with annulment
There is no absolute guarantee that everything will be negotiated smoothly and without come form of negotiation.
Our annulment solicitors will be able to support you when it comes to resolving some of the practical issues that often come hand in hand with the end of an official relationship, such as what will happen to the family home, how you will divide finances and whether additional arrangements for children need to be made.
Our solicitor’s fees
Fixed fee annulment advice
Our marriage annulment solicitors are able to agree on fixed fee funding for annulment and associated matters, giving you certainty over the costs involved.
Flexible funding arrangements
We believe that everyone, no matter what their circumstances may be, should have access to excellent legal advice. To back this up, we offer a range of flexible funding options to ensure that our services are accessible to those in our community.
We understand that there is often a degree of financial uncertainty when you are going through an annulment, and, for that reason, we can also offer deferred fee agreements.
Frequently asked questions about annulment
Is there a time limit for annulment?
Unlike a divorce, it is possible to apply for an annulment straight away after you are married.
However, it is important to note that if you want to get an annulment, you must start proceedings within three years from the date of the marriage.
In the scenario where your partner is transitioning to a different gender, you will usually have six months to apply for an annulment after a gender recognition certificate has been granted.
What is the difference between divorce and annulment?
Divorce is the legal process of ending a marriage. This is used where there are no questions that the marriage was valid in the first instance.
To get a divorce, an applicant will need to rely on a ‘fact’ to prove the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship. This could include unreasonable behaviour, adultery, desertion or separation for at least two years.
The key difference is that annulment applies to marriages or civil partnerships that were either never valid in the first place or should be declared invalid because of a specific reason. If an annulment is granted and a Decree of Nullity is made, it is as if the wedding or civil partnership ceremony never took place.
The distinction between divorce and annulment is especially important in certain cultures and religions. It is often frowned upon or explicitly banned to get a divorce in some communities, but annulment is often more acceptable because the marriage is not valid to begin with.
The specific requirements for divorce and annulment are also different. For example:
- You cannot get a divorce or dissolution within the first year of marriage or civil partnership.
- There is only one primary ground to prove divorce or civil partnership dissolution, which is the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship. This is proved by various facts, such as adultery and unreasonable behaviour. By way of contrast, annulment can be proven using one of the reasons mentioned in the ‘grounds for annulment’ section above.
How long does an annulment take?
Usually, the whole annulment process takes around six to eight months to complete if it is uncontested. However, should the annulment be contested, then it will, of course, take longer to resolve and will require additional legal support.
If there is a dispute regarding an annulment, it may be necessary to engage in a firm of alternative dispute resolution to avoid the case heading to a lengthy and costly court hearing.