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Q&A – Nullity of Marriage/Civil Partnerships

Q&A – Nullity of Marriage

What is a nullity of marriage/civil partnership?

The nullity of a marriage or civil partnership refers to instances in which they are deemed to have never taken place due to pre-existing restrictions or issues at the time of marriage or when the partnership was legally registered.

What is a decree of nullity?

A decree of nullity is a declaration by the court that your marriage or partnership was found to have never been valid in the eyes of the law, thus meaning that you were never married/engaged in a civil partnership.

Is nullity the same as divorce?

Nullity is not the same as divorce. While divorce is a declaration that both parties (partners) have declared a legal end to their marriage, whereas nullity is a declaration that the marriage never existed.

How can I get a nullity of my marriage or civil partnership?

In order to receive a nullity, you can apply to the Circuit Court or High Court. The court will then consider nullity of the marriage or civil partnership based on a number of grounds, including but not limited to:

  • One partner being under the age of eighteen and therefore unable to legally consent
  • One partner gave their agreement under threat of harm
  • One party was insane at the time of the marriage/registration
  • One partner was already married to or in a civil partnership with another person

What happens after a nullity has been granted?

If the nullity of a marriage or civil partnership has been granted, both partners will then be free to:

  • Marry or enter into a new civil partnership
  • Withhold maintenance from the other partner
  • Prevent the other partner obtaining a legal right share to their estate

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*

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