How Is An Annulment Application Used In Western Australia?

How Is An Annulment Application Used In Western Australia

How Is An Annulment Application Used In Western Australia?

An annulment refers to the announcement when a contract or an agreement is declared null and void, making it legally non-existent. An annulment is often conflated with a divorce; however, both terms are not synonymous. While some basic factors entail both annulment and divorce, they are quite different in terms of proceedings. An annulment application, however, might not exclusively apply to a divorce.

This article elucidates the concept of annulment and how annulment applications operate.

What is annulment?

An annulment refers to an official announcement declaring any contract or agreement null and void. This contract or document can be a law, an election, a marriage, a business contract, or any agreement. An annulment announcement does not break a pre-existing contract or agreement but renders it invalid, to begin with.

While this may result in the dissolution of the agreement, it is fundamentally different from dissolving a legally recognized document or contract. This is because the rationale of an annulment is nullity or declaration as to validity. As a result, judges only annul contracts in exceptional conditions.

What is the difference between a divorce and an annulment?

The quintessential difference between annulment and divorce is that a divorce occurs in the case of a lawful, legally recognized marriage. In contrast, an annulment renders a marriage defunct and nullifies it.

In other words, an annulment declares that a marriage was never legally recognizable and cannot be said to have legally existed at all. This, however, does not deny the existence of a wedding having taken place. It simply establishes that the marriage was not legally recognizable.

A divorce is the termination or dissolution of a legally recognized and lawfully bound marriage. This breaks up a couple legally tied to each other through marriage to be single again.

What other situations does annulment apply to?

As previously stated, an annulment application is not exclusive to a divorce. An annulment is applicable in terms of any legal contract. For example, an annulment application can be turned in case of absence from court on a hearing, which results in the passing of a judgment. If the individual can present a valid reason for being absent from the hearing, they have the right to file for an annulment of the judgment.

Apart from that, an annulment can also be announced for business contracts, elections, or laws.

What are the steps involved in an annulment application?

In case you seek an annulment application for a contract, the following steps outline the process by which it can be done.

  1. Acquire the annulment application: This involves a form known as “Application to the Local Court” that, as indicated by the name, appeals to the local court. This form can either be downloaded from the website of the local court or physically acquired from the local court itself.
  1. Fill in the application:  After getting hold of the form, filling it out with the correct information is necessary for a smooth proceeding. The following information must compulsorily be included:
  • The applicant’s name and address
    • The name of the OIC or ‘Officer In Charge’ who is listed on the Court Attendance Notice
    • The address of the police station that issued the CAN
    • Date when the court notice was filed
    • Name of the court that issued the notice
    • Details of conviction or annulment
    • Grounds of annulment as per the contract
    • Applicant’s date of birth and identity proof
  1. Submit the form: Once the application has been filled, the form has to be submitted to the local court. A fee of 110 dollars may be applicable. After that, the registry staff will give you a date to appear before the court.
  1. Appear before the court: For the annulment to be applicable or decided on, you must appear before the court with your legal representative.

All of the above steps must be performed with a divorce lawyer who can provide due diligence for the contract being annulled and the annulment application.

Why should you get an annulment?

There are various reasons why someone would get an annulment on a contract. The following are the primary reasons behind annulment in the case of marriage:

  1. The marriage was fraudulent, dishonest, or forced
  1. If one of the spouses is legally wed to another person at the same time or bigamous
  1. The spouse is mentally unsound
  1. The people involved were too young to consent or minors when the marriage took place
  1. Cases of adultery or impotence​
  1. The spouses are too closely related to qualify for marriage

Following up with an annulment

Since an annulment renders a contract invalid, it also nullifies the clauses of the contract. In the case of a marriage, this implies that the spouses may not be entitled to maintenance as opposed to a divorce. In other words, there is no division of finances, property, or claims to designated percentages of the spouse’s income. The involved individuals are to return to their financial conditions pre-marriage.

If the people involved have children when the marriage is annulled, the children remain “legitimate.” However, the status of their parenthood may alter. Following that scenario, the judge may devise an obligation of maintenance and custody for the children. Even if the parents are unlawful, the children remain entitled to financial assistance and care.

Parting words

Annulment applications are challenging, with numerous details going into their enforcement. This is because of the exceptional nature of the announcement, which applies to exceptional scenarios. As a result, legal assistance is indispensable when representing yourself during an annulment case or simply getting advice on your legal decisions. Get in touch with the top divorce lawyers in Perth and find resources on legal proceedings and representation to keep yourself informed and increase your odds during litigation.