Marriage Annulment

" It is not marriage that fails; it is people that fail. All that marriage does is to show them up. "

- Harry Emerson Fosdick

Marriage Annulment

  • What is a marriage annulment
  • How long after a wedding can you get an annulment?
  • Obtaining an Annulment
  • Grounds for an Annulment
  • Waiver
  • Children
  • Financial Support, Custody Orders, and Property of the Marriage
  • Religious Requirements

What is a marriage annulment

Marriage annulment is another way to end a marriage. Like divorce, the result of a marriage annulment is to end a marriage that ensures you and your partner are free again. Marriage annulments are not as common as divorce. Providing your marriage is not legally valid you can consider an annulment of marriage in Edmonton. Our family law specialists provide you with all the information you need on marriage annulment.

How long after a wedding can you get an annulment?

To obtain a divorce, you must have been married for at least a year. In contradiction, the marriage annulment period frame is less severe. A marriage can be invalidated at any time. This means you can make an appeal for annulment of marriage in Canada at any time rather than idling for at least a year. Nonetheless, making an application for annulment many years after your marriage could cause some issues as you will be required to explain the reasons for your impediment and why the marriage was not questioned earlier.


Obtaining an Annulment

In order to get an annulment by the Court, you must prove to the court that a ground exists. The Court defers terminating a marriage if you and your partner have lived together as husband and wife. If there are children of the marriage, the Courts are even more reluctant to grant an annulment. For these purposes, the only way to convince the Courts is by determining if you have a strong ground for annulment. Some of the grounds are identified below. Contact us today for professional help! 

Grounds for an Annulment

You should consult with a lawyer before asking the Court to annul your marriage. Establishing the grounds for a void and voidable marriage is difficult and requires legal expertise and guidance. Grounds for an annulment may include the following:

  1. You or your partner are not old enough to marry (e.g. spouse(s) were under the age of 18 and did not receive parent’s consent and consummate the marriage afterward)
  2. You and your partner are too closely related
  3. You or your partner are already legally married to another person
  4. The marriage was for immigration purposes
  5. The mandatory formalities for your marriage to legally take place were not followed (e.g. you did not have a civil or religious ceremony)
  6. You or your partner did not consent to the marriage because of mental incapacity (e.g. under the influence of drugs or alcohol) or because consent was not voluntarily given (e.g. a person was forced or threatened into the marriage);
  7. You or your partner cannot have sexual intercourse due to a permanent disability which may be either physical or psychological (Note that if the disability is curable and a party refuses to undertake a cure, you may still be able to use this ground). It is important to note that a person’s inability to have children is not a ground for a nullity decree.
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If you think that you have grounds for an annulment, but you proceed to live with your spouse, the Court may find that you have agreed to continue the marriage and will waive or disregard your annulment request.


If you have children, an annulment does not make the children of the marriage illegitimate. If the marriage is voidable, then the children are the rightful and lawful (‘legitimate’) children of the marriage even after the Nullity Decree has been granted. If the marriage is declared void and did not exist at any time, the children are legitimate if the marriage was registered in accordance with the law and at least one of the parties to the marriage believed it was a valid marriage.

Financial Support, Custody Orders, and Property of the Marriage

Where the Court grants an annulment, it may also order financial support and custody Orders for the children of a marriage. The Court may also require financial support for the spouse and an Order for the distribution of estate amongst spouses. However, a person who knew or had reason to believe that the marriage would be void based on grounds at the time of the marriage, may not have any rights to the marital property.

Religious Requirements

Some people want an annulment for religious reasons. If you belong to a faith that disapproves of divorce, you may want to speak to the leader of your religious group before consulting a lawyer. Ask your religious leader if it is necessary to obtain an annulment of the marriage through the legal system. Some religions may allow you to obtain a civil divorce and a church annulment which means you may later remarry in that faith. However, it is important to remember that a religious annulment is different from a legal annulment. For this reason, a religious annulment will not necessarily be recognized or accepted by a court.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, contact our offices now to speak with a divorce lawyer so we can help address you or your loved one’s legal jeopardy. We are available 24/7. We are a forceful group of family lawyers and we ensure that our clients throughout Alberta are provided with the best defense possible.