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Who can Request the Annulment of Marriage?

During a foreign trip, Florence meets Anis. It is love at first sight, and the two lovers keep a long-distance relationship going for several years. In 2015, they decide to marry, with Anis moving to Québec to live with his future spouse. In January, Anis and Florence marry in a religious ceremony in Montréal. During the summer of 2015, Florence discovers that Anis was already married in his native country, and he even has a child from that earlier union. Florence is terribly upset, she cannot believe her ears, and she terminates her relationship with Anis.

Did you know that Florence could ask for the annulment of the marriage, rather than file for a divorce? Indeed, the law recognises a certain number of reasons for annulling a marriage or a civil union:

  • The spouses were not old enough to marry (16 years old, with parental authorization) or to form a civil union (18 years old);
  • the spouses are too closely related to each other (father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother);
  • the marriage notice was not posted;
  • the marriage ceremony was not public;
  • the officiant was not authorized to perform a marriage ceremony;
  • the former marriage or civil union of one of the spouses was still valid;
  • the parents or tutor of a minor spouse had not given authorization for the marriage;
  • one of the spouses had not consented to the marriage or was forced or tricked into giving consent.

The annulment of the marriage or civil union allows the ex-spouses to do the following:

  • Liquidate their matrimonial or civil union regime;
  • Divide the family patrimony.

When the Tribunal pronounces the marriage null, it may declare one or the other of the spouses to have acted in bad faith. This allows the spouse who had acted in good faith the choice of either reclaiming his/her assets or requesting the liquidation of the patrimony rights arising from the marriage.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at 514-326-4553, or toll-free at 1-855-505-1515, or by sending an e-mail to info@brunetassocies.com..

Text drafted by Me Michelle Merhi,
Lawyer at Brunet & Associés