Chapter 2 Key facts checklists

Nullity

 Nullity is a way of ending marriages and civil partnerships.

• Once annulled, the marriage or civil partnership is treated as if it had not occurred.

 English law distinguishes between void marriages/civil partnerships and voidable ones.

 Void means the marriage/partnership was never a valid one. There is no need for a decree although the parties may apply for one if they wish to obtain a financial, pension, or property order.

 Voidable means that the marriage/partnership remains a valid one until the parties obtain a decree to annul it. It becomes void after the decree.

 The law of nullity in relation to marriages is set out in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

 The law in relation to civil partnerships is set out in the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

 A non-marriage resembles a marriage but has no legal consequences.