Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between annulment and divorce?

While they are both ways to end a marriage legally, that’s where the similarities end.

We’ll talk you through what the differences are between annulment and divorce and when each one would be most suitable in a separation scenario.


What’s An Annulment?

An annulment of a marriage requires a decree of nullity.

This is granted by the Family Court and states that there is no legal marriage between two parties, even if they took part in a legally-binding marriage ceremony.

It essentially states that there never was a legal marriage in the first place.

With an annulment, there is no requirement for a set period of separation before you can submit your application to the Family Court.


When Would You Get An Annulment?

An annulment can only be granted in the following circumstances:

  • A prohibited relationship (e.g. between family members)
  • One party was already married at the time
  • The marriage was not legally conducted (e.g. the celebrant or the venue was not properly authorised for weddings)
  • Either of the parties was not old enough to get married
  • Either party did not give their consent to the marriage (e.g. a forced marriage, mistaken identity, or mentally incapable of understanding what they were entering into)

If none of these circumstances apply, then you would need to seek a divorce instead to end the marriage.


What’s A Divorce?

A divorce is another legal way to end a marriage, but the finalisation of a divorce still recognises that there was a legal marriage for a set period of time.

Divorces are generally sought when there are irreconcilable differences between the two people in the marriage, or when the two parties no longer wish to be married.


When Would You Get A Divorce?

If your marriage was legal and valid, then you would need a divorce to end it.

The only thing you need to prove is that you have been separated for at least 12 months and there is no likelihood of resuming the marriage.


What’s The Difference Between Annulment And Divorce? 

At the most basic level, an annulment dissolves a marriage as if it never happened.

A divorce on the other hand, ends a marriage but still recognises that the marriage took place.


If you need to end your marriage but need help navigating it in an amicable way, divorce mediation could be helpful.

Divorce mediation can help you make clear decisions that work for all parties, instead of fighting it out in the courts.

Call Ian today on 0418 928 448 for a confidential chat about our divorce mediation services in Perth.