What is an annulment and how do I get one?

1. Find out if you can get an annulment

Most people cannot get an . It is only given for a few very specific reasons.

Reasons that give you an annulment

To get an annulment, you have to prove one of the following:

Not able to get married

You can get an annulment if you or your partner were not able to get married because one of the following is true:

  • One partner was already married, but the other partner did not know.
  • One partner was under the age of 16, or was 16 or 17 but didn't have their parents' permission.
  • You are closely related to your partner, by blood or adoption. To see which relatives can't marry each other, see Step 1 of the question How do we get married in Ontario?
  • One partner didn't understand what it meant to get married. To see what this means, see Step 1 of the question How do we get married in Ontario?
  • One partner was forced into the marriage against their will. They might have been forced by their partner or by someone else.

Problem with your marriage ceremony

You can get an annulment if your marriage ceremony was not performed properly.

For example, you can get an annulment if the person who performed the ceremony did not have the legal power to marry people.

Unable to have sex

You can get an annulment if the marriage could not be consummated. This means that the partners could not have sex because of a physical inability or mental condition that was not known at the time of marriage. A marriage cannot be annulled if the partners chose not to have sex.

Reasons that won’t give you an annulment

The intention of the partners does not matter. For example, it doesn't matter if your partner married you just to immigrate to Canada. That would not be a reason for an Ontario court to give you an annulment.

You also can't get an annulment just because you had a short marriage. This is true even if you are married for only a few days before one of you wants to end the marriage.

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