What is Annulment and How is it Different From Divorce?

What is the Difference Between Annulment and Divorce in Canada?

When a marriage is ending, many people wonder if they should get annulled or divorced. In this article, we will look at what sort of reasons would qualify you for an annulment, and the ways annulment differs from divorce. 

What is an Annulment?

Annulment is the dissolution of a marriage, effectively making it so that legally the marriage never happened. 

What Reasons Qualify You For Annulment?

There are a few reasons you can petition for annulment of divorce in Canada, including:

  • Newmarket Divorce LawyerMarrying someone who was still married to another person– This qualifies for an annulment since the marriage was illegal, to begin with. A person cannot be married to more than one person legally in Canada
  • Unable to Consummate– There is a difference between being unable to consummate and unwilling to consummate, and only being unable to consummate will qualify you for annulment. However, if you knew that your partner was unable to consummate the marriage previous to getting married, you will not be able to get an annulment
  • Unable to understand marriage – If the applicant does not have the mental capacity to understand marriage, then an annulment can be awarded. 
  • Other Reasons– There are other reasons you can have an annulment, such as if you marry someone you didn’t realize was a close relative, or if you were married under the age of 18 without your parents’ consent. It is best to consult a Newmarket divorce lawyer for more information and to see whether your situation is appropriate for annulment.

The Difference Between Annulment and Divorce

The main difference between annulment and divorce is that with an annulment, the marriage did not happen. This means when filing income tax, you would not choose “divorced” as your status.  This also means you will not technically be entitled to spousal support. 

The laws regarding child support and custody remain the same whether you divorce or have an annulment. This is to protect the rights of both parents, as well as the child. 

Are There any Benefits of an Annulment Over a Divorce?

That depends on what you consider a benefit. Some people feel so taken advantage of, having any reminder that their marriage happened would be a large sore spot that an annulment would avoid. Not having to pay spousal support to a person who forced or coerced you into marriage would be another benefit.  Some religions condemn divorce, so an annulment would be a workaround for people of that faith. A Newmarket divorce lawyer would be able to tell you if an annulment would be more beneficial in your specific situation 


Annulment, as with any legal proceeding, can be complicated and expensive. Be sure to check with a lawyer to see if this is the best option for you.

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