The annulment of a marriage is different from separation or divorce. Basically, when an annulment is granted, the marriage will be completely void. In simple terms, this means that the judge has decided that there was no actual legal union. In a divorce, the marriage is terminated or dissolved, while separation refers to the situation where a married couple stops living together or in a domestic relationship. Therefore, if you would like to apply for an annulment as opposed to a divorce, you should understand the legal process. Here is a short description of the most critical aspects of marriage annulment.
Acceptable Reasons for Annulment
Marriage is a solemn legal union, so you must meet specific conditions to be eligible for an annulment. You can apply for this invalidation if you were forced to marry or even pressured or tricked. Marriage must be completely voluntary, and any type of coercion is considered to be a criminal offence. If the person you are married to is identified as a close relative such as a sibling, you will be granted the cancellation. In addition, if one or both of the married individuals was underage, still married, or unaware of the proceedings during the ceremony, the court will accept an application for the annulment.
Application for Annulment
You can apply for the annulment if you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident. You are also eligible if the other party meets the same criteria. Generally, you will have to file the application through the Family Court. When launching your application, you will be charged a filing fee by the court. If you feel that you cannot afford the requested amount, you can apply for an exemption. Fee reduction and even refunds are also offered to individuals who can demonstrate financial hardship or present special concession cards.
Service of Annulment Documents
After completing your application, you will need to ensure that the other party is served with the documents. This means that you should ensure that your former partner has received the paperwork so that they will be aware of the pertinent proceedings. There are certain regulations set by the family court with regard to the service of such documents. For example, you are not allowed to personally serve your ex-partner with the paperwork by hand. If you wish to have these delivered by hand, you must engage a person of legal age to perform the task. Alternatively, you can serve by post.
For the best outcome, consider engaging a family lawyer for legal guidance.