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  • Charles Baker

Everything You Need To Know About Annulments In Ontario

When a marriage comes to an end, there are a number of different ways to formally separate. While divorce is more commonly known, a couple may also annul their marriage. An annulment is a different legal process from a divorce and with different requirements.

In this article, we are going to take a look at what an annulment is, what the grounds for annulments are, and how Newmarket divorce lawyers can help you out with an annulment. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is An Annulment?

An annulment is a legal process to state that your marriage was never valid. While a divorce dissolves your marriage, an annulment says that it never happened in the first place. Annulments are not common in Ontario and are generally only used when a marriage was illegal in the first place.

The rarity of annulments in Ontario makes them quite difficult for Newmarket lawyers to obtain, and there are only a few grounds for an annulment which we have discussed in the next section.

What Are The Grounds For Annulment?

Below we have summarized the grounds on which you can seek an annulment in Ontario:

Inability To Consummate The Marriage

If one party was unable to properly consummate the marriage, this may be grounds for annulment. This is only considered if the other party entered into the marriage without knowledge of the inability to consummate.


If one or both parties were intoxicated or in any other way mentally compromised, then the marriage may be annulled. By mentally compromised, we mean that one or more parties could not properly consent to the marriage.


In Canada, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to marry without parental consent. For this reason, a marriage may be annulled if one or more parties were under 18 at the time of marriage and did not have parental consent to do so.

Pre-Existing Marriage

You may only be married to one person at a time in Canada and as such, if either party was already married, the second marriage becomes legally void and is grounds for an annulment.


So-called ‘shotgun weddings’ describe a marriage where one party was threatened into the marriage. This voids the marriage as one party was under duress, and so, it can be annulled.

Familial Relations

In Canada, if the parties of a marriage are closely related (e.g. siblings, half-siblings, parent, and child), then the marriage is illegal. Parties this closely related cannot be married in Canada. If a couple finds out that they are related after their marriage, they can have their marriage annulled.

Mental Capacity

As with intoxication, a lack of mental capacity can lead to an annulment as the party cannot consent to the marriage.

How A Lawyer Can Help You With An Annulment

If you are considering an annulment, a Newmarket divorce lawyer can help you out. They can talk you through the full process and help you to work out whether or not you would be able to get an annulment. As annulments are more difficult to get in Ontario, we recommend seeking advice to find out if you have the grounds for one first.

Annulments, like divorces, come in two forms; contested and uncontested. An uncontested annulment means that both parties agree to the annulment, whereas a contested annulment would require your lawyer to gather evidence in favour of the annulment. Contested annulments are very rare in Ontario.

Contact Baker Doodnauth Today If You're In Need Of An Annulment Lawyer In The Newmarket Area!

Baker Doodnauth is a Newmarket law firm with a dedicated team of lawyers. We have experience in all areas of family law and can help you to get your marriage annulled. Get in touch today to find out more about our family law services.

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