A divorce is the court order which ends a valid marriage, whereas an annulment is the court declaration that a marriage is invalid. A marriage might be considered invalid if:
- one spouse was already married when he or she married the other
- if one of the spouses was under the age of 16 at the time of the marriage
- or if a spouse married someone other than the person he or she intended to marry
When a court finds that the marriage is invalid it will make a declaration that the marriage is void as if it had never happened and subsequently that no divorce is necessary.
Annulments and Legal Responsibility
Even where a marriage is annulled, the parties are treated as spouses and parents (if applicable) under provincial law. This means that the parties can make claims against each other regarding things such as:
- division of property
- spousal support
- custody and guardianship
- child support
Foreign Annulments and Religious Annulments
Some religions grant religious annulments however these annulments are only valid within that religion and do not legally void the marriage in the eyes of the law. Under provincial law, you and your spouse will remain married until a judge makes a legal declaration of annulment. In the event an annulment cannot be given, a divorce is necessary. Foreign marriages are complicated by the governing laws of the foreign state and must be approached on a case by case basis.
Seeking an Annulment in Alberta?
If you are seeking an Annulment in Alberta you should contact the Edmonton family lawyers of Coley Hennessy Cassis Ewasko at 1-780-800-7623. Their experience in family law can help you weigh your options and possibly inform you of additional alternatives you haven’t considered. When seeking a trusted Edmonton family law firm, contact the family lawyers of Coley Hennessy Cassis Ewasko today.