How To Annul A Marriage In Alberta
An annulment of a marriage is a court order declaring that the marriage was invalid and, as a result, did not exist. They are rarely granted because the grounds for obtaining one can be difficult to prove in court.
Our Edmonton family lawyers may be able to provide you with more information on how to annul a marriage in Alberta and help you determine if an annulment is right for you.
How Is an Annulment Different Than a Separation or Divorce?
In contrast to an annulment, a separation or a divorce do not affect the validity or existence of your past relationship. Rather, they end the past relationship. People who are married or in an adult interdependent relationship can separate by deciding that they want to end their relationship and beginning to live separate and apart from each other.
A divorce is a court order that declares your marriage is over as of a certain date. They typically come into effect 30 days after the order is made.
On What Grounds Can You Obtain an Annulment?
The court will only grant an annulment if you can prove a situation that renders the marriage invalid. Examples may include:
- - You married a person who was already married to someone else at the time.
- - You agreed to marry because you were physically threatened by someone.
- - You were impaired by drugs or alcohol to an extreme degree and were not aware that you were getting married.
- - You were mistaken about the identity of the person you married.
- - You married a person who is unable to consummate the marriage (sterility – the inability to have children – is not grounds for an annulment).
- - You were under 18, did not have your parents' consent, and did not consummate the marriage.
- - You married someone to whom you are too closely related.
How Do You Get an Annulment?
An annulment is obtained through a court order called a Nullity Decree. To obtain one, you must apply to the court and provide them with the evidence necessary to prove one of the above grounds. Some of the grounds for an annulment are more difficult to prove than others. A court may be more willing to grant an annulment where there is corroborating evidence that backs up your claim, such as documents verifying that the person you married was married to someone else on the date of your marriage.
You may be under the impression that you must obtain an annulment rather than a divorce in order to be eligible to get remarried under the purview of a particular religion. Generally, what you require in these situations is an annulment from your religious leader. This is different from a legal annulment, and some religions may permit you to obtain a legal divorce as well as a religious annulment. You will have to contact your religious leader to determine the criteria for obtaining a religious annulment. However, if you want to be remarried, you must also first obtain either a divorce or a legal annulment in order for your next marriage to be legal.
Contact Our Edmonton Family Lawyers Today for a Consultation
If you have any questions about how to annul a marriage in Alberta, schedule a consultation with our Edmonton family lawyers today. Contact us online through our booking form, and see how we might be of assistance to you.
*Please be advised, each case is unique, and the information in this article is intended as an introductory overview. This does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice specific to your case, please speak with a lawyer.