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Invalid Marriages (Nullity): What are the Grounds for Seeking Nullity of a Marriage

In Family Law, a marriage can be deemed invalid when there is a question about the legal validity of the marriage a marriage may be declared invalid (declaration of nullity) by a court. The Divorce Lawyers at Meredith Lawyers can provide with advice as to whether your marriage can be annulled.

Under the Family Law Act 1975, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and the Family Court of Western Australia have the power to declare a marriage invalid.

What is a declaration of nullity?

declaration of nullity also known as an annulment, is a finding that there was no legal marriage between the parties, even though a marriage ceremony may have taken place. The Court may declare a marriage invalid on the following grounds:

  1. one or both of the parties were already married at the time;
  2. one or both of the parties were under-age and did not have the necessary approvals; or
  3. one or both of the parties were forced into the marriage under duress.

However, the Court will NOT declare a marriage invalid on the following grounds:

  1. non-consummation of the marriage
  2. never having lived together
  3. family violence, or
  4. other incompatibility situations.

The Process of Applying for Nullity

To apply for nullity, you must file (and serve) an Initiating application. You will also need to prepare an affidavit stating:

  • the facts relied on to have the marriage annulled;
  • the applicant’s belief as to whether the respondent resides in or outside Australia at the time of filing;
  • if either a decree of nullity of marriage or a declaration as to the validity of a marriage is sought, details about the marriage ceremony, including time, place, and form; and
  • if a declaration as to the validity of a divorce or an annulment of marriage is sought:
  1. the date of the divorce or order of nullity;
  2. the name of the court that granted the divorce or order of nullity; and
  • the grounds on which the divorce or order of nullity was ordered.

You will also need to pay the filing fee.

Once you file your application, you are required to serve your application and any supporting documents on the other party, who is the respondent. The application must be served as soon as practicable by special service.

For information about applying for a decree of nullity, please do not hesitate to contact our Divorce Lawyers at Meredith Lawyers

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