Divorce or Separation

Annulment as an Alternative to Divorce

Irreconcilable differences and challenges in a marriage are difficult to resolve. And if you find that toiling through it is unreasonable, it is possible to break free from the unhealthy relationship. In cases like this, the first solution that comes to mind is divorce. But did you know that there are alternative methods to split up with your partner? For those who are eligible, annulment is another route to consider. Read on to learn more. 

Learn More: The Emotional Impact of Divorce: Coping Strategies and Support

What is an Annulment?

When an annulment is granted, it declares a marriage null and void, as if it has never existed. Unlike divorce, which dissolves a valid marriage and changes the marital status of both parties to “divorced,” an annulment essentially erases the marriage from the records, reinstating your “single” status. Annulment can be considered if these requirements are met: 

  • Non-consummation due to either spouse’s incapacity or wilful refusal.
  • One of the parties was already married at the time of marriage.
  • The wife was pregnant with another man’s child during the time of marriage.
  • The marriage was not consented to.
  • The marriage is between two persons of the same gender or two close relatives.
  • A Muslim marriage registered under civil law instead of the Syariah law.
  • A marriage where either party was suffering from a communicable form of venereal disease.

Does your marriage fulfil these criteria? You can initiate annulment proceedings at any time after your marriage ceremony as there isn’t a three-year eligibility period like divorce. Also, neither you or your spouse has to be a Singapore Citizen, but both of you must be residing in Singapore. 

Annulment Process

Step 1: File a Writ for Nullity with evidence supporting the grounds for annulment at the Family Justice Courts. We recommend collaborating with a divorce lawyer to work out the details and documentation you need to provide. 

Step 2: If the annulment is uncontested and parties can successfully prove that the marriage is void or voidable, and if all ancillary matters regarding children and assets have been addressed, the court will grant a Judgement of Nullity.

Two Wedding Rings on the Table

An annulment may be refused even if sufficient evidence has been provided. If the court finds the annulment unjust to either spouse or if either party knew that the marriage was void or voidable at the time of marriage, it may deny your application despite meeting all conditions and grounds. In the event that you are unsuccessful in nullifying your marriage, you can choose to live separately until three years have passed to file a divorce, or file an early divorce by proving exceptional hardship and depravity. 

Not sure if annulment is for you? There are a few benefits it can offer, depending on your individual circumstances. For example, if you value your social image, nullifying your marriage can be beneficial to your social standing and reputation as it implies that the marriage was never valid. 

For those with religious considerations, such as if divorce is highly frowned upon in your faith, an annulment might be the ideal solution. It can help with maintaining your sanctity by regarding the marriage as invalid and never truly existed. 

The relatively shorter procedure of annulment also makes it a great option for those who prefer to resolve issues fast. Compared to divorce cases, where proceedings can drag on for years, annulment can conclude within a few months because it does not involve lengthy arguments and negotiations related to grounds for divorce or ancillary matters. 

Regardless of your preference, filing an annulment or divorce is a personal decision best made by both you and your spouse. It is important to work things out privately and consult with a divorce lawyer to efficiently navigate the processes for an amicable and fair outcome.

If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer, the team of experienced professionals at Family Law Specialists are here to guide you through how to divorce or annul your marriage. Get your free consultation with us today by dropping us a message.

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