Annulment refers to the legal procedure of rendering a marriage as null and void. In a nutshell, it cancels or annuls a marriage by legally declaring that it was invalid or never existed in the first place. Annulment is different from divorce, which is the dissolution or termination of a legally valid marriage, with both parties returning to single status and having an ability to remarry..
As per the Women’s Charter, the annulment process begins when one party (plaintiff) files a writ of nullity along with a statement of particulars that declare the legal grounds for the annulment of marriage with the spouse (defendant). An annulment can only be filed within three years from the date of marriage.
A court attendance is typically mandatory for the plaintiff, though the hearing should only last up to 10 minutes. Similar to divorce, an annulment may be contested or uncontested, with the latter taking only 4 to 6 months to be made final.
A marriage is considered null and void when it fails to meet the requirements of a valid or legal marriage according to Singapore law. Based on Section 105 of the Women’s Charter, a marriage is void under the following circumstance:
A voidable marriage refers to a valid marriage that can be legally declared as invalid, provided certain circumstances are met. It is different from a void marriage in which the marriage is void from the very beginning. According to Section 106 of the Women’s Charter, a marriage is voidable under these circumstances:
There are two situations when the Court can deny a petition for annulment:
Annulment is similar to divorce in that it can be a stressful and tedious procedure, but with the assistance of a divorce lawyer, the process can become much more manageable for all parties involved.
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