People organise a wedding ceremony to celebrate a formal union between yourself and your partner. For the ceremony to be considered the beginning of a legal marriage, you need to sign documents such as the marriage certificate. In addition to the marriage certificate, you and your partner are supposed to meet certain legal requirements for the marriage to be declared legal.
In case you do not meet one of the legal requirements, your marriage can be nullified. Nullification is the process of declaring that no legal union occurred between two parties. Here are three things that you need to know about applying for nullity and why you will need a family lawyer.
Previous Marriages and Nullity
One of the main reasons why marriages are nullified is when one or both partners were previously married. The Australian legal system does not allow a man or a woman to be married to more than one person at any given time. It is also important to note that if you get married knowing that you have a pre-existing marriage, you are committing an offence known as bigamy, whose punishment is five years imprisonment.
Underage Spouses and Nullity
The legal age for marriage in the country is 18 years. However, if you are between sixteen and eighteen years, you can apply to get a marriage nullified through a family lawyer. The lawyer will contact family courts and present your situation to them, after which they will decide. Note that getting married to an underage person is illegal in the country, and the age of marriage is 18 years. The law applies even to those who go overseas to get married. All these marriages can be nullified with the help of a family lawyer.
Any arranged marriage that involves a child under the age of 18 is considered a forced marriage by the law. Some people also get married under duress. For example, a partner may blackmail you and force or coerce you into a marriage you are not ready for, even if you are an adult. As long as you can prove that force was used to coerce you into the marriage, it is possible to declare nullity.
These are the three main conditions under which a judge can declare a marriage null. Note that situations such as non-consummation of marriage, violence, and not living together are not grounds for nullity. Contact a family law firm to guide you on how to declare nullity.