Unlike a divorce, which acknowledges a marriage’s previous existence, an annulment is a legal procedure to declare it null, that the marriage never existed in the first place.
If you need help in this sensitive matter, please feel free to contact Yuen Law. We have the expertise to help you, in a tactful way.
A marriage can be annulled if one can prove that it is void, or voidable. A void marriage is not valid at its very start, and there are usually issues with its solemnization, or the legal status of partners entering into the marriage. As an example, one of the partners of the marriage may in fact be already married in another jurisdiction, but for some reason it was not flagged out. Another reason would be if the partners are, in fact, close blood relatives which is prohibited by law in Singapore.
A voidable marriage is a different matter. In this case, where the solemnisation of the marriage was proper, what needs to be shown is that the marriage is invalid, due to one party’s refusal or inability to consummate the marriage. Another voidable reason could be that your wife was already pregnant with another man’s child when you married her.
In all cases, the burden of proof is on the party that wants to annul the marriage, to offer evidence for voiding it. Even if you produce enough evidence to demonstrate that the marriage is voidable, the courts ultimately decide whether to grant the annulment or not.
An uncontested annulment takes about 5-6 months to complete.
If the marriage produces children, or if the partner contests the annulment, the case would become more complicated. There might also arise issues of spousal maintenance, in addition to custody of the child or children. The facts of each case are different and every case would be different, there are no templated answers.
Yuen Law LLC can provide assistance in matters regarding annulment of a marriage. Do contact us to make an appointment.