Legal Aid Queensland


Go Search
Legal information
Media centre
About us
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Legal information > Relationships & children > Relationships > Annulment


Legal Information

What is annulment?

A marriage is declared to be annulled where the law does not recognise it as a valid marriage.

This is different to religious procedures for annulment. You should make any inquiry about church granted annulments through your church.

A marriage is not valid at law where:

  • either person was married at the time of the marriage (bigamy)
  • the relationship between the people prohibits marriage (eg brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child or grandchild, including half relations but not step relations)
  • either person is not of marriageable age (ie 18 years of age unless you have a court order)
  • the ceremony was not valid (eg unqualified celebrant or incorrect paperwork)
  • either person did not give their real consent eg:
    • they were not mentally capable of giving consent
    • they were mistaken eg as to the identity of the other party or the nature of the ceremony
    • there was duress or fraud, such as misrepresenting who you are or using threats or force to get  consent.

How do I apply?

You must make an application to the family court which shows grounds as to why the marriage is not valid. If approved the court will issue a decree of nullity.

How much does it cost?

You have to pay a court filing fee. You can apply to the Family Court for reduction of the fee. You should discuss other legal costs with a solicitor.

An application for a decree of nullity can be complicated and expensive and you should get legal advice before applying to court for an annulment.

Back to top

Do I need legal advice?

You may need legal advice if you believe your marriage is not valid at law and you want to apply to the family court for an annulment.

Back to top

Where can I get legal advice

Legal Aid Queensland may provide legal advice on whether a marriage is not valid at law but cannot help with religious procedures for annulment. If you have questions about church granted annulments you should make inquiries through your church.

The following organisations may also be able to give legal advice on your matter.

Community legal centres give legal advice on a range of topics. Contact them to see if they can help with your matter.

Queensland Law Society can refer you to a specialist private solicitor for advice or representation.

Back to top

Who else can help?

These organisations may also be able to assist with your matter. They do not provide legal advice.

Family Relationship Advice Line provides information about the family law system in Australia.

Family Relationship Centres provide information, referrals, dispute resolution and advice on parenting after separation.

Family Courts deal with family law cases. Court forms and information on family court processes are accessible from their website.

Back to top

Disclaimer - Copyright © 1997 Legal Aid Queensland. This content is provided as an information source only and is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer. Legal Aid Queensland believes the information is accurate as at 25 November 2011 but accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions and denies all liability for any expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur due to the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way.

Last modified: 16 June 2015 10:55AM
Page Contact:

Copyright | Disclaimer | Privacy | Access keys | Other languages
© Legal Aid Queensland 2006