It is important to recognize the difference between a divorce, which is a court order that ends a lawful marriage, and an annulment, which is when a court declares that the marriage was unlawful in the first place. A marriage may be considered unlawful when:
- a spouse is married to someone other than the person he or she intended to marry
- one spouse was already married when he or she married the other
- one of the spouses was under the age of 16 at the time of the marriage
No divorce proceedings will be necessary if the court rules that the marriage was unlawful. Under an annulment declaration, the marriage is voided.
Your Legal Responsibility Regarding Annulments
A marriage annulment does not mean that the individuals will not be regarded as spouses and parents (if applicable) under provincial law. Former partners could still make claims against each other regarding:
- division of property
- spousal support
- custody and guardianship
- child support
Information on Foreign Annulments
and Religious Annulments
It is very important to be aware of the difference between legal annulments and religious annulments. Religious annulments do not legally undo the marriage and are only valid within the religion itself. Only a judge can make the legal declaration of annulment between you and your spouse under provincial law. If the judge does not grant this declaration, a divorce will be required. No general statements can be made regarding foreign marriages because these cases are complicated by the laws of that foreign body.
We Can Help with Your Annulment in Alberta
You should have the experience and skill of the Edmonton family lawyers at Slaferek Callihoo when considering an annulment in Alberta. Family law is complex and there may be many differing options available to you. Contact the trusted family lawyers in Alberta, contact the Edmonton family law firm at Slaferek Callihoo – 1-780-800-7620.