Annulment of Marriage in Singapore
If you have been married for less than 3 years, you will not be able to apply for a divorce unless you are able to prove exceptional depravity or hardship. Instead, if you think you can prove that your marriage is either void or voidable, you may consider applying to annul the marriage.
How Can You Annul Your Marriage?
To annul your marriage, you will need to file a writ of nullity in court, together with a statement of particulars setting out the ground(s) of annulment you are relying on.
This has to be done within the first 3 years of your marriage and you will likely be required to appear in court in person.
An uncontested annulment may require just 4 to 5 months to be completed.
If you succeed in obtaining a Judgment of Nullity from the court, your marriage will be dissolved. Both parties’ marital status will return to “single”, unlike in a divorce where parties will be known as “divorcees”.
When can the Court Refuse to Grant an Annulment?
1. You fail to prove your case
The court can refuse to grant an annulment even if your marriage is voidable if you, as the party who commenced annulment proceedings, do not prove your case.
For example, if you are relying on the fact that your spouse has refused to consummate the marriage and do not produce enough evidence to prove this, the court can refuse to grant an annulment.
2. Annulment would be unjust to your spouse
The court can also refuse to annul your voidable marriage if your spouse is able to convince the court that:
- You knew that you could annul the marriage, but behaved in such a way to lead your spouse to reasonably believe that you will not seek to do so, and
- Granting the annulment would be unjust to your spouse.
Annulments can be complex and confusing. If you are considering an annulment of your marriage or require advice on whether to do so, you may want to approach one of our experienced divorce lawyers for help. You may also read our other article for more information on whether you should end your marriage via divorce, annulment or separation.
For a comprehensive guide on the costs of engaging a divorce lawyer in Singapore, please refer to our Divorce Fee Guide.
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