An annulment is a legal process that declares a marriage to be null and void, as if it never existed. In Ontario, annulments are rare and can only be granted under specific circumstances. In this article, we will explore the requirements for obtaining an annulment in Ontario.
Grounds for annulment in Ontario
Under the Ontario Family Law Act, there are only three grounds for obtaining an annulment:
- Lack of capacity: One or both parties were not capable of consenting to the marriage at the time of the wedding. For example, if one party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if one party was forced into the marriage.
- Failure to consummate the marriage: The marriage was not consummated (i.e. the parties did not have sexual intercourse) after the wedding, and this was not due to the willful refusal of one party.
- Incest or bigamy: The marriage was between close relatives (e.g. siblings, parents and children, or first cousins) or one party was already married or in a common-law relationship at the time of the wedding.
- It is important to note that in Ontario, annulments cannot be granted for reasons such as fraud, irreconcilable differences, or simple dissatisfaction with the marriage.
Time limits for obtaining an annulment in Ontario
In Ontario, there is no specific time limit for obtaining an annulment. However, if a party wants to seek an annulment based on lack of capacity, they must do so within three years of the date of the marriage. If they wait longer than three years, they may need to seek a divorce instead.
Procedure for obtaining an annulment in Ontario
To obtain an annulment in Ontario, a party must file an application with the court. The application must state the grounds for the annulment and provide any supporting evidence. The other party will have an opportunity to respond to the application and provide their own evidence.
The court will then consider the evidence and make a decision. If the court grants the annulment, the marriage will be considered null and void from the beginning. This means that the parties will be treated as if they were never married, and they will not have any spousal rights or obligations.
In conclusion, obtaining an annulment in Ontario is a rare and specific process that can only be granted under specific circumstances. The three grounds for obtaining an annulment are lack of capacity, failure to consummate the marriage, and incest or bigamy.
There is no specific time limit for obtaining an annulment, but parties seeking an annulment based on lack of capacity must do so within three years of the date of the marriage. To obtain an annulment, a party must file an application with the court and provide supporting evidence. TCZ Lawyer Eric Zhao can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.