meanig of annulment

annulment :to state officially that sth is no longer legally valid .

On September 15 of that same year, after only four months of marriage, they announced their plans for an annulment. She cited “fraud” as the reason in the related papers.

what exactly the meaning of annulment ? It seems different from divorce.
I’m not a native speakers, So I cannot understand it well.
Is it invalid because the man married twice (he did not divorce the first wife and marry the second girl) or he did not sign, provide the legal document for marriage ?

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello, Mr. Cheng:

This is NOT an answer. I’ll leave that to better-informed people.

These are just some random thoughts (NOT “answers”).

  1. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have been married for 30 years. They have now decided to get a divorce. It is a legal procedure that ends the marriage. Now they each can marry someone else if they so choose. And Mr. Smith has to give his wife some money, too (“alimony”).

  2. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have been married for a month. Mrs. Jones discovers that her new husband has a serious physical inability that he did not tell her about before they got hitched. Mrs. Jones belongs to a certain religious group that does not allow “divorce.” But that religious group does permit an “annulment.”

a. And what is an annulment according to that religious group? It means that – legally speaking – the two people were NEVER actually married because he married her without disclosing his “inability.” [You are an adult. You can guess what his problem is!] So that religion will grant an “annulment.” That is, it says that Mr. and Mrs. Jones were never actually married, so it is not necessary to get an “divorce.”
The ex-Mrs. Jones can now marry another man, and her church will count it as her first (and only!) marriage!

Human beings use words to deal with life. Words make a big difference to people.

For example, here in the United States, many people do not like the idea of “marriage” for two gay people. But if you call it a “civil union” instead, then more people will say, “Oh, that’s all right, then!”


Here’s the UK definition from … a-marriage

1. When you can annul a marriage
Annulment is a way of ending a marriage, like divorce.

Unlike divorce, you can get a marriage annulled at any time after the wedding (in a divorce, you have to wait at least a year).

You may want an annulment if you have religious reasons for not wanting a divorce.

However, you need to show that the marriage was either not valid in the first place, or is defective for one of the reasons given below.

  1. Your marriage is not legally valid - ‘void’ marriages
    You can annul a marriage if it was not legally valid in the first place, eg:

you are closely related
one of you was under 16
one of you was already married or in a civil partnership
If a marriage was not legally valid, the law says that it never existed.

However, you may need legal paperwork to prove this - eg if you want to get married again.

  1. Your marriage is defective - ‘voidable’ marriages
    You can annul a marriage if:

it wasn’t consummated (you haven’t had sex with the person you married since the wedding)
you didn’t properly consent to the marriage - eg you were drunk or forced into it
the other person had a sexually transmitted disease when you got married
the woman was pregnant by another man when you got married
Marriages annulled for these reasons are known as ‘voidable’ marriages.

The rules on annulling a civil partnership are slightly different, but the court forms are the same.

Thank you James and Bee. I appreciate your help.

One more question :
If they annulled their ex, Let say for religious reasons. on papers, they are still a legal/valid couples with their Ex right ? because they do not sign any papers for divorce.

If they did not sign the divorce, but did an annulment. When they marry their new partners, Is it illegal (according to the law) ?

An annulment is as legal as a divorce. They sign annulment papers instead of divorce papers. If a marriage is annulled then the two people involved are no longer legal partners and are free to remarry.

Simple, annulment is just another name/version as divorce
It just has different reasons which might relate to the religion and shorter time to split the couple legally.

Thanks, Bee.

To me I think the key difference is that an annulment treats the marriage as if it never happened.

yes, exactly, Thanks Luschen :slight_smile: