Nullity and Family Law

Nullity of marriage is a declaration by the Family Law Courts that a marriage is null and void and that no valid marriage exists between the parties. Nullity is very different to Divorce. A Divorce is an order from the Family Law Courts ending a marriage, a Nullity is the declaration that the marriage never existed.

There are two types of marriages that can be annulled, ‘void marriages’ and

‘voidable marriages’. A ‘void marriage’ means the marriage never took place, so

theatrically there is no need to get an Order from the Family Law Courts annulling

the marriage. That said, for the avoidance of doubt it is always advisable to obtain

an Order of Nullity form the Family Law Courts. There are various reasons why a

marriage can be deemed void, the most common of which are that at the time of the

ceremony one of the parties lacked either capacity or consent to enter into the

marriage contract.

A ‘voidable marriage’ requires an Order from the Family Law Court for it to be annulled and the marriage is valid until that order is obtained. Again there are various reasons why a marriage can be voidable, they most common of which is that at the time of the ceremony one of the parties is incapable of consummating the marriage or that either or both parties were incapable of entering into or sustaining a proper or normal marital relationship. This is generally due to some type of psychiatric or personality disorder.

For further information on nullity or indeed any aspect of Family Law, please do not hesitate to contact Hanahoe and Hanahoe solicitors on 045 897784 or at

This article is merely for information purposes only and is not and should not be taken as legal advice. If you have any queries in relation to this or any other Family Law matter, you should consult with a solicitor who specialises in Family Law. No solicitor/client relationship or duty of care or liability of any nature exists between you and Hanahoe and Hanahoe solicitors, until you receive written confirmation that we are acting as solicitors on your behalf.