Who can get divorced?

You can get divorced in England or Wales if all of the following are true:

  • You’ve been married for over a year
  • Your relationship has permanently broken down
  • Your marriage is legally recognised in the UK (including same-sex marriage)
  • The UK is your permanent home, or the permanent home of your husband or wife.

Marriage annulments

Annulment, sometimes known as nullity, is a different way of ending a marriage. Unlike divorce, you can apply for annulment in the first year of your marriage or any time after.

You or your spouse must have either lived in England or Wales for at least a year or had a permanent home in England or Wales for at least 6 months.

You’ll need to prove that the marriage either:

  • Was never legally valid (‘void’)
  • Was legally valid, but meets one of the reasons that makes it ‘voidable’.

‘Void’ marriages

You can annul a marriage if it was not legally valid in the first place, for example:

  • You’re closely related to the person you married
  • One or both of you were under 16
  • One of you were already married or in a civil partnership.

If a marriage was never legally valid, the law says that it never existed.

However, you may need legal paperwork (a ‘decree of nullity’) to prove this if you want to get married again.

Free guide to divorce

Everything you need to know about divorce, in one place. Download our free guide which covers all the main questions around divorce.

Is your marriage voidable?

You can annul a marriage for a number of reasons, such as:

  • It was not consummated (this does not apply for same sex couples)
  • You did not properly consent to the marriage (you were forced into it)
  • The other person had a sexually transmitted disease when you got married
  • Your spouse was pregnant by someone else when you got married
  • One spouse is in the process of transitioning to a different gender.

As with divorce, your marriage legally exists until you annul it for one of these reasons.

I went to Verisona Law because I had been unsatisfied with two previous attempts with other firms. Verisona gave that real sense of service, made.me feel like a client they were happy to assist at all times and ultimately gave the BEST advice and guidance. Don't waste money; go to Verisona FIRST!

Very prompt appointments. Very professional and sympathetic.

Sara was professional, friendly, and set my mind at ease.

Sara-Jayne was brilliant in helping me go through a draft order. Ever so friendly and personable.

Overall gave good advice, always available and at a reasonable cost.

Free telephone advice

We offer a free 20 minute family law consultation to discuss your situation. Fill in the form below and a member of our team will be in contact shortly.

Free telephone consultation with a family law solicitor.