Tip to Know the difference between Divorce & Annulment | Divorce Vs. Annulment

Annulment of Marriage

Divorce Vs Annulment

A Divorce is granted is where a spouse who is legally married wishes to terminate his or her marriage by way of Divorce Proceedings before the Family Court of Law. Whereas Annulment of marriage is granted by a Civil Court of Law declaring that the Marriage was null and void or in other words the marriage did not exist in the first place.  So under Divorce Proceedings, the existence of a valid and legal marriage is not disputed, whereas for annulment the existence of a valid marriage is questioned as well as disputed to the extent that the marriage itself did not occur.

There is are no advantages for filing for an annulment as opposed to Divorce. In fact, if you are seeking to enforce your rights for spousal support or child custody then the correct forum to file an application in court would be before Family Court for a Divorce.

It should be noted that an Annulment is extremely rare as oppose to Divorce Proceedings. The grounds  for an Annulment of marriage are as follows:

  • The person was already married; or
  • You married because you feared for your physical safety such as a threat to life; or
  • You were under the influence of drugs and alcohol or otherwise mentally not able to understand that you were getting married; or
  • You were under the impression that you were marrying someone else; or
  • When you got married you were under the age of 18 and hence could not legally consent to marriage as an adult; or
  • The person you married was unable to consummate the marriage;

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What is Religious Annulment

A religious Annulment is where your religious institution issues you are certificate or documents indicating that your marriage did not exist. It is important to note that the basis of annulment is that the marriage did not exist at all.  If you received an annulment in Ontario from your religious institution, this would not invalidate the marriage until you get a court order under Canadian Laws.

The marriage of Convenience  or Marriage for getting Immigration

If a person got married purely to get immigration then it is commonly referred as a marriage of convenience, however, the marriage is legally valid and recognized, therefore, annulment in Ontario would not be correct method to discontinue the relationship. The parties should ideally file an application for Divorce.

How much it costs for an Annulment of Marriage in Ontario

Divorce Vs AnnulmentGenerally Speaking, legal costs for an uncontested Divorce is much reasonable as compare to an annulment. The uncontested Divorce process is more common hence it is courts have developed a set of predefined easy to follow steps for parties. Whereas for an annulment in Ontario a regular civil matter has to be filed which would incur significant Legal costs.

Short-Term Marriage

As long as your marriage was legally valid, you can file for a Divorce even after a week of getting married. The length of marriage is irrelevant in the eyes of law for the purposes of granting a divorce but it is a factor the judge would take into account and would like to know why such a short marriage existed. You can satisfy the judge by making a simple affidavit that made a mistake and it was perhaps one of the biggest mistakes of your life.Before you decide to go for annulment, it is best if you consult a Lawyer to guide in light of your specific facts.

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