Catherine Hyde, Family Law clerk

We are sometimes asked by clients whether or not they should seek a divorce or instead can they seek an annulment of the marriage, essentially declaring that the marriage is null and void, or the other spouse may be threatening to have the marriage annulled. 

Most often an annulment is sought for religious purposes; however, the annulment obtained through the Church is not recognized by the government or the Courts.  In the Application for Divorce, Form 8A, you can seek under “other claims” an annulment.  You must be able to prove that there is a valid reason why the marriage should be annulled.  Such reasons include that one party was already married unknown to the other party; there was not capacity to be married, or the marriage was not consummated due to certain factors.

Below are two articles addressing the issues of annulment, the first is by J. N. Mukongolo & Associates and the second by Ottawa Divorce

http://www.ontariodivorces.com/annulment.html

http://www.ottawadivorce.com/annulment.htm

You should seek legal advice in order to determine whether you have grounds for an annulment through the Court process or whether a divorce based on marriage breakdown is more appropriate for you.