Can I Get My Marriage Annulled?

Can I Get My Marriage Annulled? - Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers

What Is An Annulment Of Marriage?

In Australia an annulment of marriage is legally referred to as a ‘decree of nullity of marriage’, which is governed by the Family Law Act.

A decree of nullity is a finding that there was no legal marriage between the parties, even though a marriage ceremony may have taken place. If the decree of nullity is granted by the Court, it is effective immediately. 

A decree of nullity does not include any issues relating to children or property matters. An application for the division of property must be done within 12 months of the date of the granted declaration of nullity.

Related Article: Are You Running Out Of Time? Understanding Time Limits In Family Court Matters

Grounds For Nullity

The Court may declare a marriage invalid on the following grounds:

  • At the time the parties were married, one of them was married to someone else.
  • The parties are in a prohibited relationship.
  • The parties did not comply with the laws in relation to the marriage in the place they were married.
  • Either party was not of a legal age to marry.
  • Either of the parties did not give their real consent to the marriage because:
    • consent was obtained by duress or fraud,
    • one party was mistaken as to the identity of who they were marrying or the nature of the ceremony,
    • one party was mentally incapable of understanding the nature and the effect of the marriage ceremony.

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

  • Non-consummation of the marriage
  • Never having lived together
  • Family violence, or
  • Other incompatibility situations.

How To Apply For Nullity

To apply for nullity, you must file an Initiating Application. You will also need to prepare an affidavit stating:

  1. The facts relied on to have the marriage annulled, and
  2. Details of the type of marriage ceremony performed.

You or the other party must fit one of the following to apply for a decree of nullity:

  • Be an Australian citizen
  • Live in Australia and regard Australia as your permanent home
  • Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for at least 12 months before the application.

Applications for having your marriage annulled have to be made in the Family Court. There will be a court filing fee, but you may apply to the Family Court of Australia to have this reduced in certain situations. 

Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email

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