Nullity is a declaration that a marriage has never existed. Nullity is different to a divorce. A divorce dissolves an existing marriage. When a marriage is declared null and void, a court is declaring that the couple were never legally married to each other and thus they are legally free to remarry. There are two types of marriages that may be annulled or cancelled. There are void marriages and voidable marriages.

The ground upon which an annulment is sought must exist at the date of the marriage. In order for annulments to be granted, one of the following requirements must be satisfied:

  • Either of the spouses concerned was domiciled in the state on the date of the institution of the proceedings concerned;
  • Either of the spouses was ordinarily resident in the state throughout the period of one year ending on that date;
  • Either of the spouses died before that date and was at the time of death domiciled in the state or had been ordinarily resident in the state throughout the period of one year ending on that date.

There are three broad grounds upon which a marriage maybe declared void:

  • (a) Non- observance of formalities
  • (b) Lack of capacity
  • (c) Lack of consent

The ground upon which a marriage is voidable can only be sought by the parties to the marriage and cannot be instituted after the death of one party. The grounds are:

  • (a) Impotence
  • (b) Inability to enter and sustain a normal marital relationship;

In order to obtain an annulment you must make an application (petition) to the Circuit Court or the High Court.

For a confidential chat please feel free to call our specialist family solicitor on 01 833 3097

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